I’m so stoked about hosting the 55th edition of the Wine Blogging Wednesday. It’s a nice number, too. A kind of symmetry, even, since I joined in on this collective tasting event for WBW 44.
As a Québécois frequently discussing wines with my American wine blogger friends, I thought that the perfect theme for “my” Wine Blogging Wednesday would be North vs South.
But hey, it’s not a Civil War reenactment kind of theme, really. Nor a reminder of the victory of 1775, when Quebec City successfully repulsed an assault from American troops under Arnold and Montgomery.
Unless you want it to be. Wine-wise, I mean.
If this is what you want to do, you can always look at the DrinkLocalWine.com web site, where you’ll find all you need to compare New York chardonnay with Texas chardonnay, or Maryland vs Virginia wines. And even in the US, if you look, you’ll probably be able to find a couple of Canadian bottles to compare with their American counterparts. Heck, maybe you’ll even be able to find the wines that Obama was served on his visit to Ottawa. The Neige ice cider is fairly widely distributed, at least in major cities.
What the theme really means
But really, I want this theme to be as open as possible. And to have more to do with the vinegrowing climate than with the political climate.
Essentially, this is a question of comparing how more northerly and more southerly vineyards produce different results with the same grapes. How, for instance, chardonnay from cooler climates will produce more citrus and mineral aromas and flavors, while in hotter climates, tropical fruit flavors come into the mix. How the light and delicate pinot can turn into a sweet cherry pie when heat is applied. You get the idea.
There are, of course, an almost infinite number of combinations. Northern hemisphere vs Southern hemisphere. North vs South within a country: how the Barossa compares with Tasmania. Or even within a single region: how pinots from the northern end of Burgundy compare with those at the southern end.
You might even want to turn this around, with warmer vineyards located north of some cooler ones (Mendocino vs Sonoma Coast, maybe?). Use your imagination. Look at maps you haven’t looked at for a while. Dust off the Atlas of Wine.
The one restriction is that the wines should be comparable in nature: Bordeaux blends from Bordeaux and Australia, sauvignon blanc from the Loire and from California, cabernet franc from the Niagara and Long Island, riesling from Washington State and Spring Mountain, etc. If you compare a Barossa shiraz with a chablis… well there just isn’t much actual comparing to do, right?
You have until March 18 to find these wines, taste them – and while you’re at it, see how they compare with a same dish. Put your tasting notes up on your blog, put up a link as a comment on this blog, and you’re all set. Heck, if you don’t have a blog, you can just put up a tasting note as a comment here, and I’ll include it in my roundup, on the weekend of the 21st of March – the official beginning of spring.
Cheers to everyone, and thanks a bunch to Lenn Thompson, founder of the WBW, for letting me in on the fun.