Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France

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Kermit Lynch, a wine merchant since 1972, raises pairing of good wine and good food to a poetic experience. The title’s wine route takes a reader through ten regions of France, highlighting the small artisan wineries he favors in his own imports. One can almost taste each wine, as Lynch samples vintages and discusses vintners’ processes. He argues against overdosing wine with sulfates or artificially increasing alcohol strength with sugar. Both can dull or overshadow a wine’s distinctive flavor.

A key element in a wine’s “perfume” and taste is the terroir, or interaction of the local environment, (soil, climate, etc.) with the vines. Thus, in northern Rhone, a 1972 Saint-Joseph blanc, tasted in 1985, “had a quince-like aroma, a chalky edge on the palate, and a fleeting suggestion of apricot skin in the aftertaste.” In southern Rhone, a Grenache’s aroma was reminiscent of cherry, plum, and apricot. In Loire, one vintner could identify a 1906 bottle’s origin due to its aftertaste of wild plum and suggestion of hawthorne blossom.

Other factors that affect a wine’s “finesse” are grape varieties; type of storage vats, time of bottling, aging—Lynch’s book is a cornucopia of information delightfully served.


Reviewed By:

Author Kermit Lynch
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publish Date 2013-Nov-12
ISBN 9780374100971
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2014
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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