Text Size:-+

The Essence of Wine: Bread


Image © 2012 Leigh Beisch

Science suggests that the smell of freshly baked bread calms us and stimulates the brain the same ways as music and art. But did we really need science to know this? Bread has always meant comfort, home, and basic sustenance for human beings, and few culinary pleasures rival the aromas, taste, and texture of a loaf right out of the oven (growing ranks of celiac notwithstanding). Oxygen, time, oak, and grape variety all contribute to the fact that some wines smell and taste of breadstuffs. Champagne in particular, especially with age, acquires notes of saltine crackers, toasted sourdough, fresh biscuits, or the perfect yeastiness of a crusty french loaf. Such flavors and aromas aren't restricted to Champagne, though its extended dalliance with yeasts in the bottle makes it one of the most prominent examples. Several white grapes can deliver the pleasure of a morning's bakery stop, or if mistreated, the unpleasant brewers yeast stink of autolysis gone wrong. But when a wine gets it right, it can be glorious as well as positively gulpable.

Kalin Cellars Semillon, Livermore Valley, California, USA
Shaw and Smith "M3" Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills South Australia
Michaud Chardonnay, Chalone, Monterey, California, USA
Domaine Roulot "Les Luchets" Blanc Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Burgundy
Man O' War "Valhalla" Chardonnay, Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Hyde de Villaine "Hyde Vineyard" Chardonnay. Carneros, Napa, California, USA
Taittinger Récolte Millesime, Champagne, France
Glen Carlou Chardonnay, Paarl, South Africa
Bellavista Franciacorta Extra Brut Vittorio Moretti, Lombardia, Italy
Pommery Grand Cru Champagne Blend Reims, Champagne, France
Petaluma Croser Brut Sparkling Wine, Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Mumm Napa "DVX" Sparkling Wine, Napa, California, USA
Krug Grande Cuvée, Champagne, France

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

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


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