Wine at a Garden Show?
So, you might be wondering ‘what is a wine company doing at a flower and garden show’?
We’re glad you asked because, as it turns out, there’s more to it than simply being a delicious break during your day at the show, or some kind of romantic notion (after all, a bunch of flowers and a glass of vino are synonymous with romance!)
Yes, it’s a great opportunity to sit down, relax and sample some tasty drops, but the connection between wine and gardens doesn’t stop there.
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The importance of the environment to winemaking
Take a moment to think about how the wine you enjoy got to the bottle you pour it from. Where does wine come from? You probably already know that wine is made from grapes and that grapes grow on a vine. So wine, like many of the products we regularly consume (from vegetables and fruit, to the lovely bunch of flowers you might treat someone special to) is an agricultural product, even if we don’t always necessarily look at it that way.
Wine is influenced by many of the same factors as the flowers and plants that are grown for commercial purposes and those in our own gardens. Threats like fungus, disease and pests, the use of fertilisers (chemical or organic), and the use of various farming tools and machinery, are all commonalities between growing flowers and growing grapes for winemaking. Viticulture, the practice of cultivating and harvesting grapes, is a form of farming.
The environmental conditions grapes and flowers are exposed to as they grow ultimately impact upon the final product we as consumers experience. Changes to the climate, severe weather events, biodynamic and organic farming, access to water, and soil health are common agricultural factors that can impact on this final product.
Where the horticulturalist or gardener works to grow beautiful flowers, plants, fruit and vegetables, the viticulturalist seeks to grow high quality grapes. They might focus on increasing vine productivity, growing new varietals, or nurturing a low yield vine to maximise the depth of flavour in those grapes. Ultimately, the end result is the delicious wines we get to enjoy.
The floral and fruity characteristics of wine
Have you ever read a wine bottle label and wondered how they come up with all of those flavours and aromas in the description? Or perhaps you’ve heard someone describing a wine, noting the way it smells and tastes.
From fruits and flowers to spices, chocolate and even types of wood (like cedar and oak for instance), the wines we enjoy display various aromas and flavours related to the variety of grape used to make the wine and the region in which it has been grown. These characteristics form part of the ‘tasting note’ of a wine.
Gardeners may enjoy a jasmine shrub for its beauty and alluring scent, but did you know you can also find notes of jasmine in varieties of wine like Pinot Gris and Riesling?
Amongst many others, you might detect notes of passionfruit and cut grass in a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, red cherry and cranberry in your favourite Rosé, or vanilla and blackberry in that drop of Tempranillo you’re enjoying with some tapas.
Do they put flowers or fruit in wine to give it those flavours and aromas?
No, not at all. Wines don’t actually contain cut grass, jasmine or cherries. These terms are used to generally describe or translate the flavour notes present in the wine, to help assess its varietal characters.
Behold the beauty
John Keats certainly had it right when he said ‘a thing of beauty is a joy for ever’! There’s no denying that a lovingly crafted floral arrangement, a living green wall or a beautifully landscaped garden are pleasing to behold, with sight and smell the dominant senses in which we experience them.
In much the same way, an expertly crafted wine is a beauty to behold, particularly when it comes to aromas and flavours. Enjoying a glass of wine is very much a sensory and joyful experience.
Wine tasting enables one to attentively take in the various characters and complexities of a wine, and to appreciate the hard work that has gone into making it. When we learn more about something, art for example, our appreciation grows, and that’s exactly what we hope for when you experience a wine tasting with Wine Selectors. To appreciate the beauty.
Our wine experts will be on hand at the magnificent Wine Selectors Wine Garden at this year’s Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show with a range of fantastic masterclass sessions.
Sessions are FREE but ticketed, so make sure you book your tickets to secure your spot. Seats are limited.