I know there are a few of you out there who like a challenge. We think we have found one that will test how much you have learned from scouring the shelves looking for new wine experiences. I have been saying for decades that wine consumers must be some of the most adventuresome folks in the world. I know this because during my tenure as a retail wine steward I observed you continuously stepping up to a wall of more than five hundred wine choices and choosing to purchase wines you had never seen or tasted before. That spirit of adventure is one of the main reasons we review wines.
By now I am sure you are probably wondering, “What the hell is he talking about?” One of the most frequent statements I would overhear from my customers was, “Well I haven’t heard anything bad about that one”. This phrase would usually be uttered as they chose the bottle that would be the wine they consumed for dinner that evening. There are many people who are not like us (enophiles) that will never understand hopes and dreams are involved here. I think everyone hopes the selection you choose will be the wine you dream about when eating a fantastic meal. I know I do, and yes, we actually still shop for wine.
How proud would you be if the next time you pick out a wine from one of the producers who are using the grape you named to make their wine? On Monday August 6th 2012 Cornell University is going to make that possible. Cornell University scientists are asking the public to submit names for two new wine grape varieties. One red and one white. These new varieties will be released from their breeding program in 2013. Now that is what I’m talking about.
Really—for a wine geek, nothing could be cooler than naming a grape, especially if it turns out to be wicked tasty and easy to grow. Who knows, by 2016 bottles of the grape you named could appear on wine lists and retailers shelves everywhere.
The two latest varieties from grape breeder Bruce Reisch include a cold climate hardy white wine grape and an innovative organic dark red. The first conjures up citrusy aromatic characteristics; the second has a hint of blueberry. However, their current names – NY76.0844.24 and NY95.0301.01 – hint at very little. Those brief descriptions should be enough to set your mind reeling towards a suitable moniker for these new grape varieties.
The researcher is accepting name submissions for the two new varieties by email at firstname.lastname@example.org until Monday, Aug. 6. The winning names will be revealed at the Viticulture 2013 conference in Rochester in February. So send Bruce Reisch an email with your entries and who knows they might pick the name you submit.
In the meantime, keep looking for that unknown wine experience and check out our wine reviews to help avoid something that may not be your particular style.
And by the way, have you found any recent wine finds from far flung places?