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The Essence of Wine: Cherry


Image © 2012 Leigh Beisch

Biting into a perfectly ripe cherry represents one of life's perfections of flavor and sensation. The firm skin parts under a modicum of pressure, and a gorgeous melody unfolds on the tongue — high notes of juicy acidity, rich baritones of velvety sweet red fruit, an earthy alto bitterness of skin, and a tangy tenor quality burst in the mouth in a way that makes it all too easy to overindulge. Cherry's singular flavors, from the dark black to the bright bing and the sweet yellow rainier, are a familiar refrain in many wines, made from myriad red grape varieties. While cherry's unmistakable essences emerge from many a glass, it is hard to deny that good red wines often evoke the fruit even in metaphor, their songs as lip-smackingly rich and sexy as that perfect orb of red, just plucked from the tree.

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Shafer Vineyards "Hillside Select" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
Domaine Rudolphe Demougeot Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Burgundy, France
Col Solare Red Blend, Columbia Valley, Washington
Artadi "Pagos Viejos" Rioja, Spain
Jim Barry "The Cover Drive" Cabernet Sauvignon, Clare Valley, Australia
Errazuriz "KAI" Don Maximiano Estate Carmenere Blend, Aconcagua Valley, Chile

This is part of an ongoing series of original images and prose called The Essence of Wine

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.