Well it got me thinking, what about that other drink that the enthusiasts rave about and ascribe seemingly limitless tastes too? Yes indeed, a quick online search revealed there are plenty of wines described as having the taste or aroma of, having hints of, being reminiscent of, “pencils”, “pencil shavings”, “pencil lead”, “old pencil boxes”, and so. I’ve been known to swig a glass or two, so the challenge was set.
Unfortunately the reviews of the pencil wines were all ones that were not readily available here in my country, but reading the reviews it was obvious that any wine that had been matured in oak barrels was likely to be described by somebody as pencilish. So, I have been research drinking for several weeks now, an arduous task with very little reward. Pure research in the name of science can often be a thankless task.
My recycling wheelie bin is full of evidence.My cellar is full of holes. But still, the taste of pencil eluded me. Today, in a final effort, I journeyed to a winery, to sit in their fine restaurant, eat their Moroccan Spiced Lamb with aubergine and nasturtium pesto, and begin the final research session.Oak, yes, Smokey Wood, yes, Wood, yes, but Pencil, no. Not even a glass of their finest red, “The Epihany” could produce "Yes – Pencil !". Time to give up. Oh, well, I’m sure the fault is really mine, uneducated taste buds unable to distinguish French Oak from California Incense Cedar. Printed on the wine list - “If God forbade drinking, would he have made wine so good?” – Cardinal Richelieu.
Hmmm, maybe I should have tried chewing on the wine barrel out in the carpark?But hey, before lunch we went to the local farmers market, and I bought a sampler pack from the local brewery. Maybe with that name, their beer will taste of cedar and pencils?