Outstanding Australian Alumni Association 2013

Outstanding Australian Alumni Association 2013

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wine Appreciation Night - 19 Jan 2007


It was a dark, cold night in Italy... The rain poured down outside, while the winemaker worked on his wine inside. He used methods passed down from his father, who used methods passed down from his father, who used methods passed down from his father, who either invented the methods or copied someone else. The winemaker who toiled on this dark, cold night was called a "loser" by his family, as he had inherited the smallest wine estate from his father. Despite this, he could produce a good-tasting wine!

Several years later, on a not-so-dark and not-so-cold evening, 18 of us entered Hermitage Wines in Singapore to taste the spoils of that dark, cold night. Arnaud is a French buyer of European wines and our guide for the evening. He explained the components of wine, namely acidity (sharpness in mouth), alcohol (e.g. 8%, 14%) and tannin (puckering of gums). On the back of a serviette, he drew this diagram to illustrate that we should find wines in the red area, with at least 2 of these 3 components of wine.

He gave us some pointers when we taste wine. Firstly, look at the wine (identify any sediment or non-uniform colour). Secondly, swirl the wine (let it "breathe" by exposing it to oxygen). Thirdly, smell the wine (beware of any smell of cork or rotten eggs - not good!). Finally, taste the wine (use a slurping technique to incorporate more oxygen).

Arnaud went on to tell us about personally knowing the Italian winemakers (and one of their daughters). He also attempted to explain how the winemakers' personality came out in the emotion of the wine (or was it the winemakers' emotion coming out in the personality of the wine?). Whichever the case, we came as 18 unenlightened souls and left as enlightened souls. Thanks to the Alumni organisers, our friends at Hermitage Wines and the "winner" winemaker (for producing the best-tasting wine of the evening)...

* Note: Accuracy of the wine-related aspects of this article is not guaranteed...!

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