Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Last Wine That Left An Impression On Me

The last wine to leave an impression on me wasn't exactly a recent one, nor was it even one particular wine.
That's not to say that I haven't been "affected"(both emotionally and physically...) by any wines recently, I've been lucky enough to drink more than my fair share of breath-taking wines.
The last wine to truly leave an impression on me, in a way that totally altered my perspective on a large part of the wine industry was Champagne.

About this time last year, I was lucky enough to be invited on a week long study trip to Champagne, where I brushed shoulders with some of the region's most respected personalities, visited places that I was truly privileged to step foot in, burnt my mouth from the searing acidity of vin clair and spent an extremely hung-over morning wrapped around the loo at Krug - I subsequently learnt that Krug's NV is about the best hang-over cure ever.

At the start of the week, I had no idea what i was letting myself in for. I went there, like most people, thinking that Champagne was just an expensive drink for wealthy people. At the end of the week however, I thought pretty much the same... I also realised there was so much more to it than that.

It seems that the best way to have an impression left on you by a wine is to be totally immersed in it (there was sadly no Champagne lake to swim in). Through visiting 16 Champagne houses in 5 days, whether I had wanted to or not, I fell totally in love with it.
The passion that the producers had for everything that they do, the genuine belief that their methods are the best of the best, although everyone was doing it totally differently, was just amazing to experience. It was the heritage that struck me the most and I think this is something that is far too overlooked in the UK, where people simply look at the shiny labels and high prices.
The long and rich history of the families, producers and people are a huge part of the reason why the wines demand their high price; you are drinking a bit of history.

The visit to Champagne, tasting the wines in the places that they are made, with the people who made them, certainly left an impression on me. Maybe it had something to do with the glitz and glamour of the region's top houses but I don't really care, it's all part of the amazing package.

You can read my (rather euphoric) post about my trip, which i wrote not long after returning back home, by clicking on these handy words right here.

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