Variety of local wines can be found at Soldier Creek

Variety of local wines can be found at Soldier Creek Main Photo

4 Jul 2020


Elijah Decious

The word through the grapevine in Fort Dodge is that you don’t have to travel long distances to get a great variety of wine. In fact, the vineyard is right in Webster County’s back yard at wineries like Soldier Creek Winery.

There, a local family grows 10 different grapes that make 16 different types of wines, from reds and roses (pronounced ROH-zay) to white and off-dry bottles.

And with a humble 20 acres of vineyards in Webster County, winemaker Anne Zwink knows that you don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate it, if you know how to taste it.

Want to learn how to appreciate one of the finer things in Webster County? Here’s how you might learn to love the varieties they sell about 24,000 bottles of each year.

Before you have a taste, take a swirl — because a huge component of wine tasting is led by your nose, not your tongue.

“Smelling is not going to affect the taste, but something that is important about smelling is that a lot of the excitement of wine tasting comes from the aromas,” said Zwink. “The most exciting part of tasting, I think, is the aroma.”

While humans only have about three different taste sensations for wine — sweetness, sourness and bitterness — they can smell upwards of 10,000 different types aromas before the wine touches their lips.

Gently swirl the wine in your glass, then stick your nose all the way in to get a full-bodied whiff. The aromas of the wine will be trapped in the head of the wine glass by design.

For example, at the front impression of Frontenac Gris, a semi-sweet rose, you’ll pick up sweet and crisp notes of apricot, peach and candy.

Now, take a sip. Let the wine linger in your mouth for about five seconds –maybe more if you’re into it.

The intersection of aromas in the nose meeting the flavors on different sections of the tongue is what takes the wine taster to the destination: flavor.

“The combination of aroma and taste is what we call flavor — it’s the combination of the two while it’s in your mouth and the back of your nose,” said Zwink.

But, you have to take the time to savor it.

“If you knock the whole thing back like a shot, you’re missing your entire tongue feeling,” the winemaker said. “All you’re getting is ‘oh, there’s alcohol in this,’ and that’s not fun.”

And with dozens of varietal wines (ones made with a single grape) and blends made to deliver the complexity of more than one grape, the possibilities are endless.

Full article.
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