With your eyes closed, even absent the screams of wheeling gulls, and the throaty slap of waves against the sand, you'd know where you are. The tangy scent of the sea is unmistakable. The flavor is equally familiar thanks to the crunch of seaweed, the tiny tidepools of oyster liquor that some of us slurp, or even the saline shock that accompanies an open-mouthed tumble in the waves. Isak Dinesen said "the cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea" reminding us of the affinities between our bodies of water. If we find the sea in us, then how hard is it to find it in wine? The Romans, never short on subtlety, were known for adding seawater to their finest vintages. Today we taste and smell the sea in tinier, more piquant doses — a whiff from a glass, or a trace on the tongue. The French, in their elegance, have repurposed the word iodé to capture the iodine tang of the ocean in wine, while others find crushed shells and kelp in everything from Champagne to Sherry. Like many of wine's more savory notes, a hint of the sea goes a long way towards another gulp, or even another glass.
Benanti "Pietramarina" Etna Bianco Superiore, Etna, Sicily
Sandhi "Rita's Crown" Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, California, USA
Chateau de Maltroye "La Dent de Chien" Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru, Burgundy, France
Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Cape Point, South Africa
Weingut Franz Kunstler "Hochheim Hölle Erstes Gewachs" Trocken Riesling, Rheingau, Germany
Massican "Annia" White Blend, Napa Valley, California, USA
Domaine Sigalas Santorini White Blend, Santorini, Greece
Hajszan "Weissleiten" Gemischter Satz, Vienna, Austria
Charles Heidsieck "Blanc des Millenaires" Vintage Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France
Ottella Lugana Superiore, Veneto, Italy
Domaine de la Pepiere "Granite de Clisson" Muscadet, Loire Valley, France
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
I'll Drink to That: Ryan Looper of T. Edward Wines Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards Warm Up: The Wachau I'll Drink to That: Leo Alzinger of Weingut Alzinger Petaluma Gap Wine Tasting: August 8th, Petaluma, CA I'll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay Vinography and The Essence of Wine Shortlisted for the Roederer Awards 2015 West Sonoma Coast Wine Festival: July 31 - August 2, Sebastopol, CA Warm Up: How Wine Grapes Got to Australia
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