Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Swigging Viognier at Lake Merritt

By Jessica Yadegaran
Monday, March 24th, 2008 at 5:16 pm in Uncategorized.

cline cellars viognier

Half bottles are the bomb. Especially when you’re going on a picnic with a boy and forget to pack stemware. Halfway into last week, I knew the weekend was going to offer glorious weather. When Saturday came, I packed the goat cheese, grapes, rosemary crackers, olives and a half bottle of Cline Cellars’ Viognier, with its full body, fragrant nose of stone fruits and bitter butter lettuce finish.

Once we dodged the come hither advances of a homeless man, we found a grassy knoll and popped the cork (the corkscrew, I remembered). We took turns swigging, and as I swirled the wine in my mouth I had an ah-ha moment. I finally realized, without the crutch of a glass, how efficiently one can aerate wine in the mouth. There really is a point to swirling it around in your mouth.

Try it. It requires no sophisticated technique. I make a slight fishy face and swirl the wine while holding it in the front of my mouth. I know supertasters like Wilfred Wong who do what is closer to a side-mouth swirl or gargle. Perhaps we can get the multimedia folks in the office to help me prepare a little podcast on the art of the swirl. Until then, get the Viognier or another half bottle white and find yourself a grassy knoll.

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  • Florence Brown

    If nobody else has offered to do it, I’ll gladly help you throw together some multimedia for this :) It would be fun to see some simple head shots of people making the various faces, with audio of them describing the benefits of each mouth shape.

  • Jessica Yadegaran

    That’d be great, thanks Florence. I don’t know how many different actual faces you’ll find, but we can explore it and give a quick tutorial, if anything.