He Who Made The Grapes
An intense fortnight of vino fun:
Oliver’s Taranga Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 McLaren Vale, Napa Cellars Mount Veeder Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009, Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay Reserve 2006, there was talk about the making of wine menus and about wines from Spain and Italy.
Then there was some very informative sherry tasting – a Lustau fino, a Lustau amontillado (which really tasted of the sea), two manzinillas (Lustau Pasada de Sanlucar and Deliciosa Sanlucar de Barrameda), a Lustau dry oloroso, and then two PXs (Lustau San Emilio Pedro Ximenez Sherry and a Harvey). This first encounter with sherry left the strong impression that they had quite a bit of rice aroma (in the sense of the smell of rice being cooked) about them.
The unfinished bottles were brought along to Ban Leong Wah Hoe Seafood and introduced to good cze char, two rounds of Heinekens, a Gewurztraminer VT (Baron de Hoen Gewurztraminer Vendages Tardives (ie. late harvest) 2007 from Alsace), a Muscadet (Chateau du Cleray Muscadet Sevre Et Maine Sur Lie 2007) and a wine from Cote Chalonnaise which we had just been discussing over dinner (Domaine Faiveley Monopole La Framboisiere from Mercurey). The amontillado did indeed go very well with the fish. Exciting discussions lasted till 1.30am as would be natural at a meeting of people enthusiastic or even obsessed about wine – a true fellowship of believers, unlike the sort of “fellowships” some Christians claim they have when they come together yet talk about anything but Christ.
A gawk, after breakfast, at a wine stall at Loewen Farmers’ Market at Dempsey,
then a full day tour, accompanied by red wine lubricants (Scarpantoni Brothers’ Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 from McLaren Vale, and Montevina Winery Zinfandel and Terra d’ Oro Sangiovese 2007 from Amador County ), of the better-known wine growing regions, their geography and grape varietals, and wine appellations, wine styles and wine laws.
After the wine exam, the wine teacher opened a very nice bottle of Trichero Mario’s Vineyard Cab Sav 2008 from Napa Valley, some of us wound down with cold Heinekens over lunch,
then we popped by a Languedoc-Rousillon wine-tasting, met and chatted with a few people from the trade and tasted the Southern French wines before heading for a stress-relieving massage.
Am still continually amazed by the beautiful complexity of the vinifera, so much more complex and more beautiful than real experts and obsessive connoisseurs can ever hope to fathom or enjoy completely, and my thoughts could not but turn to the one who made not just grapes for wine (and we’re not even talking about the labrusca species), but who made all things:
Behold Our God
Who has held the oceans in His hands?
Who has numbered every grain of sand?
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice
Behold our God seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King—nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him
Who has given counsel to the Lord?
Who can question any of His words?
Who can teach the One who knows all things?
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds?
Who has felt the nails upon His hands?
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal, humbled to the grave
Jesus, Savior, risen now to reign
You will reign forever
Let Your glory fill the earth