We would like to think that our enjoyment of any particular wine is driven completely by the properties of the wine that contribute to its physical affect on our senses. In other words, we enjoy wine because it smells, feels, and tastes good, right?
Yes, the sensory impact of wine does affect our enjoyment of it, but it doesn’t determine it. To tell you the truth, we are probably more likely to be affected by how we feel about a wine than we are how it tastes, unless it’s pure turpentine or vinegar. Studies have already proven that people who are given identical glasses of wine but told that one of them is much more expensive will enjoy the wine they believe to be more expensive much more than the other. http://bayesianheresy.blogspot.com/2008/01/wine-quality-and-price.html
Similarly, Julie and I have realized that whenever we visit a winery and are able to talk to the owners / winemakers / knowledgeable tasting room hosts, we typically enjoy the wine much more than if we are treated like cattle in a feeding line. The way Julie and I express this is that we say we can “taste the passion”.
We first “tasted the passion” at Duchman Winery, where we learned that many Italian grapes thrive in Texas and could taste the passion of everyone at the winery in the ’08 Dolcetto and Orange Muscat. And now the ’09 Dolcetto is even better. It was Duchman that helped us realize that you can get good wines in Texas made from Texas grapes.
We tasted passion in the cellar at Grape Creek Vineyard where Gordon (?) introduced us to the difference in French oak and American oak (first & second vintage) and their effect on a Petit Syrah.
We lived passion at Tara Vineyard & Winery in Athens for three days with Patrick. And we saw our first bud break. Keep an eye on that winery because great wines will be created at Tara.
Then there’s Jim and Karen at Alamosa. OMG have you tasted the estate Viognier? Created from grapes grown at Cherokee Creek, it’s the best in Texas. Passion, my friends – that’s what makes a wine.
Is it even possible that I liked the Texas Tannat from Bending Branch Winery so much because John spent time to tell me the story of the “grape that will make Texas”? Sure, I’ll give a little on that one. But it’s STILL a great wine.
Sure, we have tasted good wines from Texas wineries that didn’t spend time sharing their passion with us. Haven’t we? Julie?
Actually, I can’t think of any.