Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What did wine taste like?

The lab over at Rational Denial is attempting something pretty marvelous: recreating (somehow) a wine that would be similar to what Thomas Jefferson drank. It's a very ambitious project and I'm pretty stoked about it. It has relevance to my Old World/New World research project so I'll be keeping an eye on the proceedings.

One note of interest: in my Julia Child cookbook she discusses the general types of wine (this is about 1960) that are available and gives very brief, general descriptions. According to her light reds are Cabernet, Gamay, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, and Merlot; full-bodied reds are Pinot (noir), Chianti, Burgundy, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and Hermitage. While this isn't completely backwards I think it is clearly not consistant with todays standards. Did the meaning of "full-bodied" and "light" change? Or was she mistaken? Or did these wines change that much over the last 40 years? I think the latter is most likely though maybe all explantions are somewhat true.

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