Wine critics, particularly in the trade press, have done so many blind tastings, one wonders if they overstep the pale when detecting the flavors and smells that are eventually published. It is this reviewer’s humble opinion that some fragrances and tastes should never be part of the wine experience, and that most readers would agree. To wit:
Tar: Ever been stuck behind a steamroller during construction season? The stench of a freshly paved road is not an attribute that should be paired with a prime steak or savory Coq au Vin. A quick check of the top scoring trade publications revealed that “tar” appeared no less than 20 times in the past two years. Perhaps these reviewers are conducting blind tastings in construction zones (uh, give ’em a brake, right?).
Barnyard: Not as frequent an offender as tar, but as one who has (involuntarily) traipsed through a pigsty, this is borderline vile. It also should be of particular annoyance to those who experience the periodic spam filter malfunction. Who doesn’t cringe when “barnyard fun,” is in the subject line?
Anyway, Value Wine Chicago suggests the following (to read the full article, click here) :
Markham Sauvignon Blanc 2007: Sauvignon Blanc is a great default white wine for alfresco dining. The Markham 2007 has a nice flavor of understated citrus with good acidity. Dress a green salad with tangy vinaigrette, and top with grilled tuna or tilapia. The color is of straw/hay, but barnyard? Nonexistent. $10 at Binny’s Beverage Depot.
Zantho Burgenland St. Laurent 2008: A fruity, dark red from Austria that, despite its depth of color, is more of an alternative to Pinot Noir than to Bordeaux varietals. Smooth, with a bit of spice, it’s a great, conversation-starting red. $13.