Welcome to The Oxford Wine Blog!
Perhaps you’re relatively new to the wonders of wine. Perhaps you’re already an oenophilic guru. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Another wine blog?”
I have put that question to myself in clarifying my motivation for writing this blog.
It seems to me that many of the myriad wine writings available on this nebulous internet are aimed at the high end wine connoisseur, people who know a lot about wine already, or simply a marketing tool for merchants or producers. This only reinforces the stereotype that wine is elitist and middle-aged.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot on how to enjoy wine.
I firmly believe that knowledge opens universes. The simple act of thinking about what you’re tasting can augment the sensory experience a hundred fold. Most importantly, it can help you examine what you like.
I hope to convey an educational approach to wine tasting and enjoyment. There will be something here for the absolute novice who wants to learn even a little about which wine will go with which food, or what to serve at a party. Along with some more ‘advanced’ posts for the more experienced wine connoisseur.
I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on wine through the medium of blind tasting. Tasting a wine ‘blind’ (not knowing what the wine is before tasting) forces you to concentrate on the flavours you can smell and taste, the structure of the wine in your mouth, and most importantly of all, whether you like the wine or not! Blind tasting with a goal of identifying a wine (its grape variety, country, region, vintage, etc) is incredibly difficult, exceedingly humbling, and ultimately rewarding. It also removes the snobbery of wine as it forces you to evaluate a wine based on what is in the glass, and not what is on the label.
A lot of my comments on this blog will address how to taste, evaluate and identify wine blind.
As I am based in the Oxford area, I will include information on interesting tastings in the region that I am party to. I encourage fellow locals to get out and taste some wine – the scene in Oxford is very accessible. Though of course I hope all my posts and information will be well-received by everyone, and not exclusive to the Oxford area!
So as an introduction, next time you’re having a glass of wine (a chilled Sauvignon Blanc or Italian Verdicchio is great at this time of year, in the summer sun!) pause to have a think about your drink. Do you like this wine? And why is that?