Last week I was invited to pour at a wine tasting event sponsored by Vinum Wine & Spirits Importing & Distributing.


A healthy turnout of buyers for upscale restaurants, wine bars, and retailers had the pleasure of tasting dozens of stateside and european labels. Their remarks sounded something like this:

Smooth and round
Delicate citrus acidity
Beautiful energy on the palate
Long mineral finish
Lingers impressively against lively acidity and a refined texture
An earthy aroma
Brings richness and texture to the mid-palate


Much like a book’s jacket, the label (of what turned out to be my favorite) is the first thing that grabs my attention. ABRACADABRA — Brian Carter Cellars, Columbia Valley, Washington State—is a blend of 11 (eleven!) red varietals aged in quality oak barrels. If this were a dog it would be a mongrel; a Heinz 57. As a wine, it has an unbeatable pedigree!

The back label has an equally engaging description:


What type of magic do you enjoy?

© lauriebuchanan.com

It’s All in the Tannins

June is Idaho Wine Month. Never ones to shy away from a celebration, we did our part by visiting 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards in Eagle, Idaho — a picturesque 28 mile drive from our home — and enjoyed tasting their wines, paired beautifully with their artisan elk salami and cheese tray.


“We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born.” — Carl Jung


Especially true for red varieties, wine gets better with age. That’s because with time, the tannins (bitter and astringent when young) dissipate and blossom into what wine connoisseurs call the “bouquet” — the aroma and essence of the body of the wine.


Tannins — a natural preservative — have been known to keep a wine delectable for 40 years or longer, blossoming more and more each year, ultimately leaving the aged red wine with a smooth, rich flavor without the astringency of a young red wine.


“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” — Galileo Galilei

For you, what has gotten better with age?

© Laurie Buchanan

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