Greetings from the Polish Tatra mountains. I’m enjoying my first non-wine-related holiday since time immemorial (surely the first since I started this blog). And it coincides with the most wintry winter we’ve had in Poland in years. Enjoy the pictures below.
I am, however, enjoying some wine up here in the mountains. Now you would normally expect this kind of weather to favour big warming reds such as Shiraz, port or Amarone. You do need some booze to warm you up after an hour’s trek in –7 Celsius.
Why? I think part of the answer is central heating. It’s really operating heavily in this season in Poland, and I find it massively affects the perception of wine. It makes the air very dry (my humidifier says 25%). You breathe differently, and the wine’s aroma as well as mouthfeel are affected. Tannins become sharper, as does alcohol: two factors that handicap exactly the sort of wine you’d normally drink now, big reds and fortifieds such as port. In a more nuanced way, I become more sensitive to oak, especially in whites. I wonder if it is purely personal, or perhaps there would be a scientific explanation behind the oak-induced compounds changing their effect in central-heated air.
Somehow the type of wine I enjoy most in these conditions is a concentrated, mineral, oak-free white. Chenin Blanc is a good choice, as well as some Italians such as Verdicchio or Vernaccia. This Graševina fits the bill perfectly.
With hints of spice that are so typical of this grape variety, this wine from Galić continues on the palate with impressive mineral substance, good acidity, and some inviting appley sap to the whole. Long-lasting, it is one of the best whites I tasted from Croatia.
Incidentally this bottle of a Croatian tasting I tutored in Cracow with leading writer Saša Špiranec – more on this in my next post.
Source of wine: sample provided by the producer for a public tasting.