Where so many fictional movies that explore wine have failed, Drops of God which is an eight-part series inspired by the New York Times bestselling Japanese graphic novel (manga) series has set the bar for its depiction of wine culture and sensorial appreciation. Originally created and written by Tadashi Agi and illustrated by Shu Okimoto, the manga series was adapted for Apple TV by Quoc Dang Tran and executive produced by Klaus Zimmermann with the collaboration of Sébastien Pradal, a career sommelier whose depth of experience defined the role wine plays in this tense family drama. Pradal is general manager and owner of a handful of companies that import and distribute fine French wines to the trade in Paris, France, and Mexico, and the restaurant La Petite Régalade and sister bistronomie La Pascade which offer a wine list reflective of both his access and focus on smaller organic and biodynamic producers. Add vigneron to his many roles as he is a partner in Domaine Montrozier which lies directly north of Narbonne in the Côtes de Millau AOP. As wine consultant to the fictional series …
For Lonardi, the drying process known as appassimento that’s used to make Amarone produces wines that are expressive of terroir. Researchers studying
the compounds found in Corvina—the indigenous grape that is the foundation of the wine’s blend—agree. Typical markers for Corvina include balsamic and tobacco notes that increase during appassimento, and the presence of these markers in aged wines points to specific vintage conditions.
Red-wine drinkers gravitate to the robust flavors and wine-like tannins of rich, intense pu-erh teas. They exhibit aromas and flavors that are found in wines like Pinot Noir: earth, forest floor, mushroom and even barnyard.”
By now, most informed wine consumers have accepted the fact that sulfur isn’t the root cause of wine-derived headaches and instead place most of the blame on alcohol. Meanwhile, what has been identified as a source of adverse reactions to no- and low-sulfur red wines, particularly by histamine-sensitive consumers, are biogenic amines. What are they and why can they be a problem?
As a species, we’ve been eating and drinking to intentionally alter our states of perception ever since. For generations, the indigenous peoples of the Congo, Nigeria, and Ghana have used the fruit (and leaves) of Synsepalum dulcificum, a shrub indigenous to West
and Central Africa, in ethnomedicine. The taste-altering properties of this flavorless, bright-red berry—dubbed “the miracle fruit,” it’s about the size of a coffee bean—make for a fascinating sensory experience.
While perceptual learning plays an important role in evaluating wine, there’s another phenomenon related to perception that arises from the wine itself: perceptual interaction. When our olfactory system
is confronted with complex aromas, we often perceive them as a single aroma due to odor blending in a process known as
configural perception (our perception of the smell of coffee as a single aroma is just one of many examples).
After tasting the Piper-Heidsieck Hors-Série 1971 ($499), a rare, late disgorged Champagne that spent 49 years resting peacefully on its lees, I was inspired to delve deeper into the role yeast autolysis plays in the flavor development of sparkling wine.
Our sense of smell is based on two delivery pathways, orthonasal and retronasal; that makes it the only “dual sense modality” we possess, one that provides information about things both external and internal to the body.
Now the days of comparing a
glass of Northern Rhône Syrah to
a strip of peppered bacon appear
to be coming to an end.
What Argentina’s savvy winemakers have known for many decades—that certain vineyards reliably produce superlative wines despite vintage variations—is now scientific fact.