The Zen of Wine: Part I

Posted by The Wine Whore |

Fun Friday Wine Fact:

Balance is defined as the point between opposing forces. To achieve balance as human beings, we perform like tight rope walkers juggling life�s challenges. Whether it is the adolescent learning how to balance on two wheels of a bike or the adult learning how to balance work and personal life, we spend our lives seeking out and attempting to maintain balance. In the end, time, patience, and energy are all required to reach this Zen goal.

In wine, balance is used as a tasting term to indicate whether all of the characteristics are in harmony. The elements in wine combine like a game of tug-of-war, teaming up to work together, overpowering their opponents. Time adds yet another dynamic to the game. As wine ages, the effects of these qualities change the balance even further. Imbalanced wine is often perceived as poor in quality and in some extreme cases, undrinkable. Balanced wine, on the other hand, is an amazing feat to behold.

How does one tell if a specific wine is balanced? In order for it to be balanced, all of the components that make up its personality need to perfectly counteract each other. In order to taste a wine and determine if this is the case, it is important to understand what these qualities are, how they affect the wine, and most importantly, how to perceive them when tasting.

Over the next several weeks �The Zen of Wine� will address each component explaining how they contribute to the overall balance of wine. Understanding not only how these factors work, but also how they are perceived will aid in discerning them when tasting a bottle of wine. While the process of determining balance in wine requires experience and time, understanding the mechanics of these factors will accelerate this understanding and ease their appreciation.

(Read more wine reviews and info at The Wine Whore)

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Teh Lego said...

This is mostly (thought not completely) an Old-World approach to wine.

Many New World wines - especially Australians - are very fruit-forward, and the nuances one might find in a Rhone, Sancerre, Loir for instance - the bacon fat, pencil box, sweat sock, are purposefully minor, in the background.

Although I would agree that the best wines still attain these balances ;-)

The Wine Whore said...

Good point! Sometimes being imbalanced can actually be beautiful too. This trait makes life and wine interesting and exciting.

The Buddhist Conservative said...

Balance is the most important component to a good wine. It can mean different things to different people. I am looking forward to the discussion.

Kort said...

A balanced wine is usual wonderful, but hitting just the right off-balance pitch can make a wine something special.

Paula said...

I have studied modern dance for some years, and I can say that a person can be delightfully and completely "off-balance"...and still be exactly where they are supposed to be, in control and balanced. Perhaps it is the same with wine. Perhaps hitting the right "off-balance pitch" (as Kort said) is part of good balance.

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