Conviviality. Wine playing its part.  Style emerges: holding the glass properly. Civilization

Wine playing its part. 
Style emerges: holding the glass properly.

Wine is civilizing.
It’s festive.
Because part of its role is to slow down the meal.
We take a bite. Swallow. And reach for the wine glass.
We pay attention to what we’re drinking.
We let the other fellow speak.
We note the wine.
We note what was said.
All at least pleasant.
Sometimes the wine goes beyond pleasant.
As does what is being said.

Today’s post from “Wine by the Glass” found on this Web Site, introduces the wine vocabulary that we use when describing wine.

Today is Saturday, August 18
This is my 130th consecutive daily posting.
Time is 5.21am and the weather will be hot and cloudy with afternoon rain.
Today’s dinner is a Chicken I brushed last night w baking powder. I put it in the oven at 4.15am and will take it out at 5.56am. I’ll finish it this evening by broiling the skin to color. It will be wonderfully juicy with crisp skin.

Photo of the Day

Boston Public Garden, the entry gates to the Haffenreffer Walk.

From the Boston Public Garden Series:  The main gates on Charles Street

From the Boston Public Garden Series:  The main gates on Charles Street

Follow Up, Diet

So I started the summer charged up that I would follow the Atkins Diet and lose the last four pounds I’m trying to shake.
At the start, it worked.
Lost weight rapidly.

But over-confidence and hedonism led me to consume an ice cream bar on a stick every day.
And every day I gained a bit.

Then my cousin visited.
Perfect weight.
Looking splendid.
Inspirational really.

So she inspired me.
To bite the bullet and sacrifice.
Good bye to fad diets.
Return to good judgment and dedication.
Lose that g-d weight.

Two days in and satisfied with the result.
Will keep the gang posted,


What is Champagne?

Find the answer just before today’s Post below.
Give yourself partial credits for partial answers..

Thumbnail Biography:
Dom Pierre Pérignon, O.S.B., (December 1638 – 14 September 1715) was a French Benedictine monk who made important contributions to the production and quality of champagne wine in an era when the region's wines were predominantly still red.

Popular myths frequently, but erroneously, credit him with the invention of sparkling champagne, which didn't become the dominant style of Champagne until the mid-19th century.

The famous champagne Dom Pérignon, the prestige cuvée of Moët & Chandon, is named for him.
The remains of the monastery where he spent his adult life is now the property of that winery.

In Perignon's era, the in-bottle refermentation (now used to give sparkling wine its sparkle) was an enormous problem for winemakers.
When the weather cooled off in the autumn, fermentation would sometimes stop before all the fermentable sugars had been converted to alcohol.
If the wine was bottled in this state, it became a literal time bomb.
When the weather warmed in the spring, dormant yeast roused themselves and began generating carbon dioxide that would at best push the cork out of the bottle, and at worst explode, starting a chain reaction.
Nearby bottles, also under pressure, would break from the shock of the first breakage, and so on, which was a hazard to employees and to that year's production.
Dom Pérignon thus tried to avoid refermentation.
He did introduce some features that are hallmarks of Champagne today, particularly extensive blending of grapes from multiple vineyards.

In 1718, the Canon Godinot published a set of wine-making rules that were said to be established by Dom Pérignon.
Among these rules was the detail that fine wine should only be made from Pinot noir.
Pérignon was not fond of white grapes because of their tendency to enter re-fermentation.

Other rules that Godinot included was Pérignon's guidance to aggressively prune vines so that they grow no higher than three feet and produce a smaller crop.
Harvest should be done in cool, damp conditions (such as early morning) with every precaution being taken to ensure that the grapes don't bruise or break.
Rotten and overly large grapes were to be thrown out.
Pérignon did not allow grapes to be trodden and favored the use of multiple presses to help minimize maceration of the juice and the skins.[3]

Pérignon was also an early advocate of wine-making using only natural processes, without the addition of foreign substances.

Thank you, Wikipedia

Movie Details
"Gigi" (1958)
Director: Vincente Minnelli. Cast: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan.

If this film were released today, instead of earning nine Oscars including Best Picture, it would be seen as child sexploitation.

Even in the 1950s, the sentiments in this great MGM musical were shockingly dated; it's set in France about 1900.

Jourdan, a rich industrialist and bored playboy, enjoys jesting with exuberant teenager Caron (she's supposed to be about 15, though she was actually 26 at the time of the film's release).

Caron, as Gigi of course, is being trained by her aunt and grandmother to be a courtesan.
They teach her to make airheaded conversation, distinguish expensive jewelry from cheap pieces, and sprawl elegantly on a sofa.
They also teach her to drink wine.

"You have to fully enjoy the aroma," her haughty aunt says.

"On your first sip, hold it on the roof of your mouth for a moment and breathe through your nose. Then you will feel the flavor. ... A bad year will be sharp. A good year, which this is of course, will waft."

Jourdan is bored with such Parisian society ladies and enjoys Caron's girlish ways.

He plies her with Champagne when her grandmother (Hermione Gingold) has her back turned.

When he loses a bet to Caron and thus agrees to take her to the beach for a weekend, Caron jumps into his lap and he spanks her suggestively as she swills Champagne from his glass.

But instead of summoning the gendarmes, Gingold joins the nascent winter-spring romantic couple for the delightful song, "The Night They Invented Champagne."

The song glosses over the actual accidental discovery in the 17th century of spontaneous secondary fermentation leading to fizzy carbon dioxide, but it is a musical comedy, after all.

The antiquated thinking doesn't stop with underage drinking and seduction.

Once he realizes his feelings for Caron have morphed, Jourdan proposes to set her up as his mistress, with a good apartment and all her bills paid.

He's furious when she rejects the offer.

"Gigi" is lovable on several levels.

For fans of French cuisine, it's interesting to see famous restaurants, especially Maxim's, tarted up to appear as they did in 1900.

The comedy is funny, the songs are good, and Chevalier is still a joy to watch.

Plus, this is not a movie that can ever be made again.

In one of his best numbers, Jourdan stalks through scenic Paris singing, "She's a child."
Yep, she is.

And people call "Vertigo" perverse.

Thank you, Wikipedia

Word of the Day
define ‘wine must’

is freshly pressed fruit juice (usually grape juice) that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit.
The solid portion of the must is called pomace and typically makes up 7–23% of the total weight of the must.
Making must is the first step in winemaking.

Answer for Encyclopediacs
Champagne is sparkling wine or, in EU countries, legally only that sparkling wine which comes from the Champagne region of France.

Where EU law applies, this alcoholic drink is produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand, among other things, secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation, specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from specific parcels in the Champagne appellation and specific pressing regimes unique to the region.

Many people use the term Champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine but in some countries, it is illegal to label any product Champagne unless it both comes from the Champagne region and is produced under the rules of the appellation.

Is there anything more festive than popping a bottle of French champagne?

Is there anything more festive than popping a bottle of French champagne?

Primarily, the grapes Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay are used in the production of almost all Champagne, but a tiny amount of pinot blanc, pinot gris, arbane, and petit meslier are vinified as well. Champagne appellation law allows only grapes grown according to appellation rules in specifically designated plots within the appellation to be used in the production of Champagne.

Champagne became associated with royalty in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

The leading manufacturers made efforts to associate their Champagnes with nobility and royalty through advertising and packaging, which led to popularity among the emerging middle class.

Web Meister responds: Later in the postings to “Wine by the Glass” we’ll post a more satisfying description and definition of Champagne.
This one is accurate, as far as it goes.



Learning to taste wine in a group

Learning to taste wine in a group

Having looked at the mechanics of sniffing, let’s get down with the vocabulary used to describe aromas and bouquets. Our goals are to achieve a sense of the scope of the subject and to add essential basic terms used to describe our sensations.

Familiarization with the vocabulary of aromas will reassure us that the vocabulary of wine tasting is based on science and not poetic license, although I give tasters a lot of room to express themselves personally and subjectively.
What’s our hurry?


The science? Each word used to describe a wine has a precise meaning. 
For example, when a wine is accurately said to have an aroma of peaches, it is because the same chemical compound found in peaches, that gives that fruit its distinctive aroma, is also present in the wine, and chemical analyses of the peaches and the wine prove this. 

I’m going to note here that taking a course on wine tasting, at a college or even as adult education, is a tremendous boost to our wine tasting skills.

Note also that kits are sold with up to 400 aromas found in wine.
Typically, we get a capsule containing a liquid chemical of the compound described.
You remove the tiny cork and smell.
Get familiar with the smell and name.
Usually, too, we’ll get a prompt card with a picture of the plant or animal and a description of the type of wines that aroma is found in.

Note a third way to improve skills: by talking with our local wine store sales person.

Note, finally, joining a wine group, even if that group is just one other. Taste together and learn.

Note that there are many other ways to learn, like the Internet.

Note that the notes are over.
We’re talking about acquiring a wine vocabulary.

I have listed the words I intend to present and discuss.
I fully intended to publish that list here, but this has taken too long for me to write.
I’m out of time.
We’ll get into it next time.