If you could be any Grape, which would you be?
By Ryan Snyder
Category: Winegeeks Opinions
The Winegeeks writers have fielded a number of questions about their opinions on the world of wine, and have discussed their favorite wine regions, their thoughts about best bang for buck wine regions and their wine predictions for 2007. Those were easy questions. To make things a little tougher, I found a question that one can only answer with a lot of creativity, and considering most of the writers are workaholics, they'll probably need a few glasses of wine to relax enough to answer this question. Hey, whatever it takes! Here it goes:
If you could be any grape, which would you be and why?
E. S. Brown
If I were a grape I would want to be Grenache. I've got fruit, I've got earth, I've got spice and I've got soul. I can be dignified and distinguished or I can be downright funky with a capital -EEE! I can rub shoulders with the French Aristocracy, the Australian Outback and the New Spain. California loves me too and Italy and I are getting to know one another. Weight, richness, complexity and diversity- what more could you want from me?
Blend me, mix me, shake me up. I play well with others, particularly Syrah, but I am also great on my own. I can even change colors. Red, white, pink, the choice is yours. Put a limit on me? Puh-lease! You can drink me when I am young, you can drink me when I am old. My vines will grow for decades and more after which they turn into gnarly old dudes that provide nothing but the best fruit. I even like soil that makes thin-skinned vines like Pinot Noir shake in their root stocks! Got a field that looks like the bed of an aquarium? Plant me there, I dare you! I'll show you what "low-vigor" really means! I've got the goods, baby. All you have to do is give me a try.
I would want to live as a Champagne grape, preferably Pinot Meunier. Although I would be under-appreciated by the critics, I would serve as an important grape in the production of Champagne both in the final blend and continuity of supply. Meunier buds later, ripens earlier and is less prone to coulure so I would be more dependable and productive than either Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, and in the northerly area of Champagne this can mean the difference some crop and no crop. As well, I would be valued for the youthful juicy fruit that I bring to a blend. On their own, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay can be awfully austere in their youth and need a long time to develop. I would help bring balance to the wine and make it drinkable sooner. And finally, no matter when you pop me open, life always gets a little happier.
It all depends on the day, but most of the time, I would wish myself to be Gewürztraminer. Yup. Floral and girly, spicy, feisty, mysterious up front, but obvious on the finish. The varietal that can fashion itself into a dry, eastern spice-driven golden yellow quaff, to a burnt sugar, viscous dessert wine, I love to keep things interesting. Not one for the "you know what you're gonna get" personality, I love a varietal that can be so many things, with the common thread of always being rich in character and serious on the palate. I have an avid interest in all things exotic and foreign, and I smile when I catch people by surprise. Just as Gewürz does…she keeps people on their toes. Just when they think they've got her figured out, she shows a different side.
If I could be any varietal, I'd pick the one that I envy the most rather than the one that fits my personality. After 2 years without a real vacation, there is one thing that matters to me the most: Location, Location, Location. I'd prefer to live in a warmer climate, feel the breath of the Mediterranean on my skin and I'd love to brush up on my rusty Italian. I'd happily dig my roots into soils filled with volcanic ash, soak up the oh-so-hot noontime sun and let my fruits turn an inky black. And I'm sure this lifestyle would quickly get me thinking about retirement... If I were this grape, I would soften in my old age but still maintain a certain feistiness about myself, meaning I could be a little tannic and crotchedy whenever I wanted. If I could be any varietal, I would be Aglianico planted in the Taurasi region of southern Italy.
Now, let me ask you... If you could be any grape varietal, which would you be and why?