Terroir and your…coffee? — Coffee with the Queen

Terroir, that magical, elusive word is most often associated with wine but applies just as much to coffee. So what is terroir?

Terroir and your…coffee? — Coffee with the Queen

For all that coffee and wine are incredibly different, they’re also incredibly similar.

They’re both highly sensitive crops with nearly endless potential for variety. They’re both considered ‘lifestyle’ drinks and are just as much a culture as they are a product. This brief piece takes a look at the French term ‘terroir’ and how this wine-specific term can also be used to describe the environmental details that go into coffee beans’ subtle flavor notes. Boost your vocabulary on a Saturday and use it to support your next purchasing decision!

party clinking wine glasses

What Improves Wine Quality? It’s Not Just The Aging Process That Brings Out The Flavor

‘A little goes a long way’ is an age-old adage many of us are familiar with. It stresses the need for appreciating smaller details and how they make up a better whole. It’s why my mother’s chai tea always tastes better than anything I could get in a cafe: there’s nothing quite like a dollop of love.

This mentality stretches far and wide, up to and including the wine industry. Unsurprising, as a mere year difference in the barrel can completely transform flavor notes and aroma. Viticulture, in particular, is rising as a subtle and extremely important touch-up to the winemaking process: it involves tiny changes in how vines interact with their environment, from sunlight exposure to leaf trimming. Even fruit thinning, an idea that can seem odd at a glance in a quantity-focused world, is considered paramount in creating robust, subtle flavors.

If you’re looking for a little more insight into the ever complex winemaking process, give this Forbes piece a look. It’s a little lengthy, but all the better for it. I’m walking away this afternoon with a whole new appreciation for how the little things add up.

Happy National Wine Day! How Much Do You Know About The Drink?

National Wine Day is upon us. That means being given a more plausible excuse to pour yourself a glass at three in the afternoon.

I got a real kick out of this piece earlier today: ABC’s short video talks about common misconceptions about wine, as well as validates what are thought to be misconceptions. Swirling the drink? It’s not just for show, as the oxygen brings out the wine’s flavor. Need to spend hundreds of dollars on a bottle? Probably not. The $15-20 price range is actually pretty good for most occasions.

I can definitely attest to that. Shout-out to my local Washington wine brands: you keep me buzzed.

For those that are getting into wine and struggling to figure out how to pair it with their meals, I like to look at wine flavors like a painting: just add contrast! If you’re eating something salty, pair it with a sweet wine. If you’re eating something savory, pair it with a fruity or tart wine. The more different the flavor notes, the more they bring out each other’s best. Don’t let a lack of knowledge keep you from trying new things. Even today’s leading wine experts are still learning something new about this old and delicious craft.

If you’re feeling like wine isn’t for you, for whatever reason, consider giving it a try this year. It’s a lot easier to get into than it seems and there’s a wine variety for just about everyone. All the French and Italian terminology will come later.