Thursday, 24 May 2012

bottle of red, bottle of white

We’re no connoisseurs just yet but with the heat of the summer descending on us and for want of something lighter and with a bit less of a wallop, but we are enjoying discovering white wine as well, instead of just the usual spectrum of reds. That white wine does not seem as strong is a bit counterintuitive to me and I suppose one must consider all the chemistry to appreciate the different notes.

Of course there are red grapes and white grapes but some whites are produced from the same variety as a reds, just with the skin and the gradient of alcohol content is not always a factor—sort of like teas, in all colours, coming from the same tea tree, only harvested, dried and prepared different ways. Another distinction that white wine has earned, either in fact or possibly by association, is that some vintages contain traces of the element lithium. In various concentrations, all soil has lithium in it, so it would stand to reason that a red wine cultivated on a neighbouring vineyard would also have a natural dose of lithium, which some count as another benefit of wine, acting in small amounts as a mood-stabilizer and generally lifting spirits and apparently promoting civility. Consider the wine producing places of the world. Maybe it has something to do with the fruit expressed, however, since it seems that many (but not all) foods are white or light coloured: rice, grains, asparagus, bananas, cucumbers, cabbage and cauliflower. Maybe it’s more an elective affinity having to do with the theory of colours. A man-made tonic, bright, effervescing and an anti-cola, 7-Up was introduced in the 1930s as “Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.” Later, the lithium was removed from the recipe but the formula was re-branded “seven-up” as an homage to the atomic mass of the element and for its elevating effects.