Cross Training


Last week was a “big week,” where I did lots of “heavy lifting” that was all “work related.”

I really wanted to dye my tongue blue (see last week’s post) but was not able to get around to it until this week because Monday and Tuesday I was doing blending trials in preparation for bottling on August 1st.  Wednesday I went to my manly tasting group (mostly men), where we drank copious amounts of Grand Cru white Burgundy.  It was earth shatteringly good.  Thursday night I went to my ladies’ tasting group (all ladies), where we tasted Sancerre and oddly enough, a rose Sancerre that was fantastic.

I am no expert in food coloring, but if thousands of dollars worth of wine enjoyment were at stake, I figured it would be best to hold off and approach with the theory: “taste now, dye later.”

All of this, of course, is in the good name of hard work.  “Cellar palate” is an affliction that so many professionals suffer from and it is, as MLK Jr. once said, “not only our right but our duty,” to work beyond it, to push the outer limits of our physical constraints. So I did.

Cellar palate is what happens to wine professionals who taste too much from their own cellar, or I would argue, their own region.  You forget how broad of a spectrum within which wine can work.  The confines become more confined.  While you think you are making a drastically different blend from your varietal next to it, you may be making a hazy photocopy.

Terroir, oak, vineyard techniques, yeast strains, maceration methods- the wine creation world is not only large, but overwhelmingly varied and at times the pitfall of comfort and clarity is appealing.  It is times like these when one must power through and prove one’ s professionalism and go drink amazing wines.

Cheers to hard work.  Have a good weekend, Ashley