Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wine fact #3: Retsina
“You there! Drawn onwards through this stretch of Hell, tell me you know me. Say so, if so you can. You! Made as man before myself unmade.’
And I replied: ‘The awful pain you feel perhaps has cancelled from your memory. Till now, it seems, I’ve never ever seen you....
Dante Alighieri, canto 6 40-46, Inferno
You may think that this is about extreme, but I do not. It all really started back in 2002 and it was my first trip to Wagga for Res School at Charles Sturt University where I had just started Wine/Vit science. And one of the first units involved wine evaluation with Malcolm Allen. The usual stuff was looked at; pH, alcohol, clarity of wine, baumé and other fascinating wine tid-bits. Then he gave us some Retsina or Ρετσίν in Greek. Gosh it was awful. I’m not sure what the lesson was, but whatever it was the message was duly noted; Retsina is to be avoided. To this day I have not, and doubt if I ever will, had good Retsina. This is what Wikipedia has to say about it...
“Its unique flavor is said to have originated from the practice of sealing wine vessels…”
Unique flavour indeed. You’d think that they would have got it right after 2000 years wouldn’t you?
So then, Retsina is not a nice wine, and that’s a wine fact!