Recently my wife and I spent time touring the wine country in eastern Ontario near the Niagra Falls. Most visit these place rush into the tasting rooms to belly up to the bar, belly up to the bar, and pretend that they know what they are talking about. Oh, I can taste the oak notes. Or that is earthy. It makes me smile every time. However, for me I love to understand the grounds of the vineyard. You see making wine is not just the end results, but the amount of work that goes into getting those grapes from the vines to the bottle and subsequently into your glass. I love to hear how much the labor of love the wine maker goes into, at this point the vineyards were getting ready for the first frost. Which to most this is a just another day, but to someone who runs a winery, this is a make-or-break moment. For wines like Rieslings, or softer white wines the first frost is when the magic happens. This is when the grapes start to crystalize and break down the sugars in the fruit to give the wine a sweeter treat. I found myself during this trip enjoying wine, but ultimately enjoying the interaction and stories from the wine makers and the staff, just absorbing everything they had to say.
And yes, I can taste the oak barrel in that glass of Chardonay. 😂