Saturday, January 22, 2011

All You Need Is Love…And Wine

Aphrodisiacs come in many forms. Some say oysters. I kind of like them, but the gritty stuff gets in my teeth. Some say chocolate, but I’m on a diet and really need to stay away from that stuff. The Greeks say honey and figs. I could live with that, but only for so long. Personally, I like to drink my aphrodisiacs.

Wine is, and has been, one of the best known love potions. From the very first buds on the vines in spring, to the swirling concoction in your glass maybe years later, wine offers us something that isn’t found in any other drinks.

Wine isn’t something that you just make in your bathtub. It isn’t something that you can brew up in 5 minutes on your stove. I really does take a labor or love and time to make. That love that goes into making a great wine is transferred from the winemaker to the person drinking it.

Over the years I’ve seen so many wines on the market that capture this essence of wine, love, and even eros. Pictures or paintings of beautiful women adorn labels. Names of different wines that suggest something a little more than just something to swill with your burger.

This past week I received a bottle of wine from my friends at Calhoun and Company. It’s name is Chasing Venus. Made in New Zealand, Chasing Venus is named in honor of the goddess of love, and Captain James Cook’s drive and desire to study the passage of the planet Venus across the disk of the sun.

In his travels and study Cook also discovered Australia as well as New Zealand, where Sauvignon Blanc is Queen. The Marlborough appellation is famous for producing some of the world’s most amazing and beautiful Sauvignon Blancs. The soils and the cool, yet moderate climate conditions make the perfect growing climate for these grapes.

Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc uses grapes from three different vineyards in Marlborough. The Griggs Vineyard is an old river bed in the eastern part of the region. The gravely soils produce citrus flavors. Beacon Hill, located in the center of the region, offers clay soils which produce herbal flavors. And Comely Bank, located in the alluvial valley soils offers up flinty, mineral flavors.

All that being said, the flavors of Chasing Venus are beautiful, delicate, and yet not shy at all. I was impressed with the green-straw color in the glass. The nose was full with citrus, grapefruit, and gooseberry. A nice malolactic cream on the front of the tongue was followed quickly by the grapefruit and citrus notes on the mid-palate. The finish was mineral and crisp. I especially appreciated the lack of over abundant acid that can be found in so many Sauvignon Blancs.

Chasing Venus is set to come to the regional market at $16 a bottle. Definitely worth it. You should expect to see it sometime in the near future. I think this wine will surely help you find love in a bottle. It may not help your love life, but you will be smiling nonetheless!


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