Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, March 02, 2009

Answer To Quiz I: What do winemakers drink?

Yes, beer! After laboring all day around tanks and barrels smelling of wine, lifting lugs of grapes, punching down must, sloshing fermenting grape juice around, washing down the winery and equipment, does a winemaker, cellarmaster, cellar rat want to smell more wine? No, of course not, he or she wants something refreshing to relax with and cool off with - beer. Of course, winemakers do drink wine, usually at dinner or with a wine tasting group of winemakers and other wine types. Interestingly, though, it seems winemakers usually drink their own wine or the wine of their neighbors, friends and competitors. Very few are knowledgeable about the wines of the world, with two exceptions. I once asked Kent Callaghan why his wines were head and shoulders above the quality of his fellow Arizona winemakers. His answer - he drinks and tastes wine from all over the world. It was truly a pleasure to talk wine with Kent. Ditto, James Mantone! He brings a depth of knowledge to winemaking that is truly awesome. He knows world wines, chemistry, microbiology, biodynamic farming, but most importantly he has a philosophical bent and has really thought about life and how he wants live it. He makes wines that reflect this and are truly a gift in the sense described by Lewis Hyde in his books such as Trickster Makes This World. Beer is good, wine is better, except on a really hot day after work.


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