From the New York Times: Talk Dirt to Me.
It’s hard to have a conversation about wine these days without hearing the French word terroir. Derived from a Latin root meaning "earth," terroir describes the relationship between a wine and the specific place that it comes from. For example, many will say the characteristic minerality of wines from Chablis comes from the limestone beds beneath the vineyards (although, when pressed, they generally admit that they’ve never actually tasted limestone). The idea that one can taste the earth in a wine is appealing, a welcome link to nature and place in a delocalized world; it has also become a rallying cry in an increasingly sharp debate over the direction of modern winemaking. The trouble is, it’s not true. [continue]
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This NYT article is by Harold McGee and Daniel Patterson; that’ll make a bunch of foodies sit up and take notice. Harold McGee wrote On Food and Cooking, which is sure to fascinate anybody who’s interested in the intersection of food and science.