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The Essence of Wine: Apples


Image © 2012 Leigh Beisch

In one simple fruit are all man's sins remembered. Dully reflected in the freckled orb we have witnessed some of our deepest archetypes. Forbidden knowledge, betrayal, murder, immortality, respect, sustenance, even civilization itself. Doubtless the first tree to be cultivated by humankind, the apple is woven indelibly into the history of our species, as symbol, as food, and as medicine. Mythological history aside, we have been remaking the fruit for thousands of years, to the point that it truly represents the diversity of our whims and tastes as a people. More than 7500 different varieties of apples can be found around the world, a kaleidescope of color and flavor not unlike the remarkable variation of wine grapes. From green to red, tart to sweet, the flavors of apple find their way into many wines. In fact, apples and wine share the sharp tang of malic acid, which lends each the sour greenness that puckers and pleases at the same time. Aromas of apple are not restricted only to white wines, where they can be found in abundance and in many mouthwatering hues. They also appear, much to our delight, in lighter red wines such as Pinot Noir, or many other red wines of significant enough age for their fruit to take on the distinctive flavor of red delicious skin. How about them apples?

Zenato "Sergio Zenato" Lugana, Veneto, Italy
Schramsberg Vineyards "J. Schram" Champagne Blend, North Coast, California, USA
Domaine Gabriel Billard "Les Charmots Premier Cru" Rouge, Pommard, Burgundy, France
Yangarra Roussanne, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Rapet Pere et Fils "Sous Frétille Premier Cru" Blanc, Pernand-Vergelesses, Burgundy
Rotes Haus "Classic Nussberg Gemischter Satz" White Blend, Vienna, Austria
Domaine Skouras Moschofilero, Peloponnese, Greece
Man O' War Sauvignon Blanc, Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Van Duzer "Estate" Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA
Colterenzio "Prail Praedium" Sauvignon Blanc, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Weingut Veyder-Malberg "Kreutles" Grüner Veltliner, Wachau, Niederösterreich, Austria
Kiralyudvar "Sec" Furmint, Tokaj, Hungary
St. Urbans-Hof "Goldtröpfchen Piesport Erste Lage" Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Germany
Le Prieure de Saint Ceols Blanc, Menetou-Salon, Loire Valley, France
Lusco do Mino "Pazo Pineiro de Lusco" Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain
Aveleda "Quinta da Aveleda" Vinho Verde, Portugal
Sato no Homare "Pride of The Village" Junmai Ginjo Sake, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Graham Beck Wines "Gamekeeper's Reserve" Chenin Blanc, South Africa
Philipponnat "Grand Blanc" Champagne, France

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