Dirt tasting

We should have known it would come to this. With growing emphasis on organic farming and terroir (vineyard environment, soil, climate), obsessive wine/food afficionados would do dirt tastings.

Yes, people tasting dirt.

If dirt is important taste element of wine—or any food—why not explore elements of dirt? And, as those who do dirt tasting discover, every dirt is different.

Dirt tasting guests get a wine glass with a dollop of dirt and are invited to smell it and describe aromas. Descriptive adjectives usually include “salty, mineral, natural, green, grassy.”

Host pours water into the glass and guests swirl to create mud. Smells become more vivid. Guests are invited to taste the mud.

Next, host provides wine and organic produce grown on same dirt. Wow. For many, what they taste reflects what they smelled and some brave souls tasted.

“It is amazing to see correlation between soil and produce grown in it and wine produced from it,” is typical reaction.

On one level, you must shake your heads in wonder that wine-food nuts have pushed the envelope this far. Fair enough. Dirt tasting is not for everyone.

On another level, doesn’t it make perfect sense? How could food and wine not reflect soil from which it came? We are all part of God’s creation, linked by spirit and molecules, elements of a whole, influenced by all we touch and all that touches us, be we grapes, vegetables, or humans.

Dirt is part of who we are, part of what our wine is, part of what our food is, part of God’s wondrous creation. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Pass me a glass of mud.

Tasting notes:

• Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014: Widely available, fairly priced, can’t-miss default pairing with almost any food on your table. Tasty, true to Marlborough terroir, another Giesen success. $14

• Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne Brut NV: World’s top-selling rosé Champagne; intense, lovely color that evolves from raspberry into salmon-pink in the glass; delicious as aperitif, pairs well with fish, cheeses, lighter meats, red fruit desserts. $77-100

Last round: My head says go to the gym. My heart says drink another glass of wine.