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The Essence of Wine: Wet Stones


Image © 2012 Leigh Beisch

Perhaps you have lingered in a mountain stream, climbed alpine ridge-tops or descended crevasses. Perhaps you have tasted rain on your tongue, or drunk deeply from a stone cistern, echoing with time. Even if you simply revel in petrichor, the smell of pavement just after a cloudburst, or remember washing chalkboards in school, you understand the smell and the taste of wet stone. Some say deep questing roots that probe and fracture rock can transmute the minerals themselves into wine. Science has no easy answers for the relationship between bedrock and berry, but what may elude chemistry is not lost in wine. Pundits argue the meaning of minerality, but what escapes definition may still be tasted. A sip that speaks of deep granitic coolness, or the bright calcified bones of ancient fossils tells a better story than letters and numbers.

Pascal Cotat "Les Monts Damnés" Sancerre, Chavignol, France
François Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru "Les Clos," Burgundy, France
Joh. Jos. Prüm "Wehlener Sonnenuhr" Riesling Spatlese, Mosel, Germany
Dom Perignon, Champagne, France
Chateau de Campuget "Tradition de Campuget" Rosé, Costieres de Nimes, France
Domaine Alain Gras Rouge, Saint Romain, Burgundy, France
Thierry Allemand "Cuvee Reynard" Cornas, France
Achaval-Ferrer "Finca Mirador" Malbec, Medrano, Mendoza, Argentina

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 Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise 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 Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud