Liquid Memory is Reading Pleasure

“Terroir is where you come from.  Or where you’re going.”  Jonathan
Nossiter in Liquid Memory

Terroir is difficult to explain to some when it comes to why it
matters in regards to wine.  Author, former sommelier, and film
director Jonathan Nossiter explains it beautifully in his new book
Liquid Memory:  Why Wine Matters

As a native North Carolinian who fell in love with wine at a somewhat
early age, loving it enough to make it her career, I made it my ambition to understand terroir and its many implications.  I worked in restaurants and a wine store in New York, learning about wine as I
moved boxes, binned out bottles to eventually reach my dream job and work the floor as a

However, it wasn’t until I moved to France in the Fall of 2002 to work
the harvest in Morey St. Denis at Domaine Dujac that I actually got a
taste of terroir.

Picking grapes for two weeks straight in the villages of Gevrey
Chambertin, Chambolle Musigny and Morey St. Denis in village
vineyards, premier cru vineyards and the ultimate grand cru vineyards
gave me insight into why terroir is so important on a viticultural
level.  The slope aspect, the way the sun hits the vines, the amount
of limestone in the soil; all of these factors matter when it comes to
how the wine is designated.  The better the slope, the better the
sunlight and the more limestone in the soil make these particular
vineyards more worthy, if you will.  It was absolutely fascinating to
pick grapes in Clos St. Denis Grand Cru and then in Mont Luisants 1er
Cru, and visually and physically experience terroir, to me, the
combination of soil and sunlight and its effects on the grapes.

Of course, going back home to Tarboro, North Carolina, a small town in
the eastern part of the state with a population of 10,000 people where
wine is considered sinful to some, made me think even more about the
importance of terroir when it came to selling wine, not to mention how to describe it.

We opened a wine store and small restaurant as soon as we came back
from France named On the Square.  We try very hard to take our
personal wine experiences from New York and France and use them to
sell wine to our customers.  Of course, we are just as guilty as most
when it comes to selling wine with high scores or good marks, but
never do we taste a wine, decide we don’t like it, and still buy it
because of how it rates according to the wine authorities.  We buy
wine that we like and we buy wine that others like because, in the
end, we know that our palates are not the same as everyone else’s.  If
we only bought what we liked, our store would be filled with Riesling,
Sparkling Wine and Burgundy from growers.  In other words, we would
probably be out of business.

The book Liquid Memory has given me much to ponder so you can expect
more blogs on this awesome book.  This is the beginning, not the end
of where we are going because wine is neverending and so are by blogs…to be continued.

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