Lausanne, Switzerland – A short note to explain my near-silence: it’s been a very busy summer in terms of wine, and the results of this will soon start to surface here, but right now I’m tied up with the new Swiss Wine Guide, second edition of the English version (it also comes out in French and German), due out in November 2010. The team of 20 or so people who put together this encyclopedic reference guide are now all scrambling to proofread the final pages. And then we’ll be able to sit back and start to drink wine again instead of writing, translating and editing texts about it!
It’s a daunting project, published by Ringier, produced by Vinea, and the end result is very good – a project I’m very proud to be part of.
I was busy a month ago taking part in the judging of Swiss wines for the national awards, the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse, my first time as a judge there. It was a great experience. The quality of the wines was very high and it is reassuring to see how well the computerized marking system works, a huge asset when you consider that more than 2,000 wines were entered. Photos and a story on that soon, once the wine guide is put to bed.
Meanwhile, my son, age 22, has suddenly discovered wine, after following what seems to have been a great introductory semester-long course on wine at the University of British Columbia, where he’s just finished his studies. He was home for three weeks before heading off to China, and we spent much of that time visiting wineries in Geneva, Vaud and Valais, tasting wines at the cellars and at home. I’ll be sharing some of those tasting notes and descriptions of the wineries here soon. He and a friend who was visiting, who also followed the UBC wine course, spent a few minutes every day sniffing little aroma bottles in my Le Nez du Vin (Jean Lenoir) box, memorizing smells and testing themselves. These boxes are not cheap, but as long as you use them, they really can help you learn to recognize scents, and that adds a lot more fun to wine tasting.
We also paid a flying visit to the newly redone Vaud vine and wine museum in Aigle, enough to want to go back for more, so I’ll also be writing about that here soon.