If I were a grape variety, I’d be Gewurztraminer. I know this because Helena Nicklin told me.
Helena is author of the book Winebird’s VINALOGY: Wine Basics with a Twist, and at the launch I filled in a form to discover my vinalogy, my wine self.
Lots of Do I Like This … Do I Like that … and Helena has now told me I am Gewurztraminer which makes me very happy indeed.
Luckily it’s not my real first name, as it would be a nightmare for people writing my birthday cards.
Here follows the Winebird’s description of me (or the 7.30pm “tired after work me” that filled in the form …)
Soft and full-bodied, yet elegant, she’s a stunning meal in a glass! From spices to fruit, to rose petals, there’s so much going on. She’s the most distinctive grape in town, standing out amongst the others at parties. There’s substance beneath the perfume though; she’s not one to be forgotten!
All true, all true.
It’s all good fun. But educational too. Winebird’s approach to helping people understand wine is to encourage us to think of the grape variety as a person; she leaves all the technical detail behind and paints a picture for each wine, giving each grape variety a personality with which people can identify.
In her book, Winebird has chosen ten white grape varieties and ten red grape varieties; given them a personality (which illustrator Olivia Whitworth beautifully brings to life); then adds a short overview of each, a handful of facts, and a Tasting Tour … in other words, how the variety is used around the world.
For instance, Winebird says of chardonnay: “Weren’t there always at least four people in your class with the same first name? In my year it was Kate; fat ones, skinny ones, drippy ones; foreign ones, you name it. Variations on a theme of Kate were popular the world over.”
Hence chardonnay = The “Kate” of the Wine World in Winebird’s Vinalogy.
The vinalogy for pinot noir is The Ballerina … “haunting beauty” “notoriously temperamental” “an abilty to make complex moves seem so smooth and effortless”.
Albarino is a mermaid; cabernet sauvignon a professional rugby player; pinot grigio the Flatpack Furniture Grape. (Loving that one).
Gewurztraminer (that’s me folks) is the Exotic Market and Helena describes pink roses, spices, lychee and orange peel. All very sensory; the point being you recognise it. Understand it.
The book also includes a handy guide to understanding a wine list, answers some basic wine questions, and some terms and styles.
It’s a pretty useful … by that I mean both pretty AND useful … read for any wine lover.
- Winebird’s VINALOGY: Wine basics with a twist! is available in paperback price £8.99 and for Kindle price £3.99 from Amazon.