H o w
D r i n k P i n o t
When and how to drink Pinot Noir? That is not a trivial question, even though
the short answer is: as often as possible. But if you are an old hand a enjoying Pinot Noir,
you have noticed that the exact same bottling, done from the exact same barrel, on the exact
same day, can taste remarkably different. It's not a good versus bad issue. It just tastes different,
and with all differences, it is easy enough to have a preference. So what creates the differences?
Maybe it has to do with the moon.
Our bet is that it does.
We say this because if you have ever stood around and tasted Pinot Noir from the barrel
once every ten days or so, and you do this for a couple of months, you will notice that there are
tastings where you think all of your hard labor is for naught, and there are
other times where you are astounded how good the wine is.
We haven't applied the protocols and rigor of physical science to our conclusions of when it tastes
the best, but, as asserted, we think it is when the moon is about to gather and shed more light.
We feel confident enough about this that when it comes to bottling Pinot Noir,
we do it when the moon is in its last stages of waning. And what's the effect?
I don't have a scientific clue, but I can speculate with the best-of-'em.
From the esthetic point of view, when we bottle, which we do during the day,
the moon is overhead. And when we go home, we get to enjoy a beautiful moon-set
over Sonoma Mountain. An esthetic consideration is enough for us,
so other speculations have not been formalized.
Standing around a barrel and tasting, and not swallowing it, and being in that
critical frame-of-mind, is very different than getting to enjoy drinking Pinot around the table.
Our lunar correlations say that the moon's effect relaxes in drinking from the glass as compared to
tasting from the barrel. So if you are at an advantageous dinner table, and considering the
preparation of the wines, you may have to do just a bit of cellaring yourself.
What you may have to do is to decant and/or splash-and-decant to get the
presentation and body just right. For the presentation, if there is sediment, it will need to
be left behind in the bottle if the wine is to be clear enough for the light to dance in
the wonderfully created color. Or, if there is a little bit of a continuing fermentation,
then the carbon dioxide will need to be splashed away so the body can settle down
and regain its velvet. So these are the little extras that might need doing,
There is another phenomena that presents itself. That is 'the opening of the wine'.
This is as equally mystical as the moon, and happily it happens a lot faster than waxing or waning.
The aromas, impression of structure, and the ethereal nuances change rapidly as the wine
is swirled in the glass, and the sustenance of properly matched food is taken in.
The reason this occurs is probably about the life that is imbued in the glass.
( This is discussed in the last paragraph in 'How we Prepare for Bottling'. )
Let the urge to be scientific relax as to the cause of the wine opening.
The idea is to just enjoy yourself, the wine, and those that are at the table.
Nevertheless, how do you hold those fleeting moments of the wine opening long enough
to enjoy them and exclaim? It is with this question, and the desire to elongate fleeting pleasurable
moments, that Krassimira, Bruce, and friends have made an innovation in Pinot Noir appreciation.
You can lengthen the moments of the wine opening by pouring yourself two glasses of wine.
Ain't that a kick? Why didn't I think of this before?
Do this in the exact same shape of wine glass, pour a generous amount and lesser amount of wine.
This is luxury that is afforded to you because we bottle in 1,000 milliliter bottles...
there will be enough to go around.
Swirl both glasses as the meal progresses. Sip parsimoniously from the more generous glass, such that
there will still be some at the end of the courses. Drink from the other glass until empty and refill it
accordingly. Check out the difference from the freshly poured glass and the one that remained.
Our friends that don't consider themselves as wine experts can wax elegantly about the wine.
They note differences and are able to talk about them with complete comfort, and:
All the differences are as astounding as the phases of the moon.