Monday, November 26, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

Tonight, I finished the bottle of Ridge 2005 Ridge Paso Robles (Dusi Ranch) Zinfandel. There's nothing particularly new to report about this wine that I didn't mention yesterday, only that it was a bit more enjoyable last night than the night before, with fewer of the plummy, stewed fruit flavors than when it was first opened.

I commented before on the uniformity and austerity of Ridge's labels. There's something else noteworthy about them: they're packed full of information. On every label, you'll find a blurb from the winemaker (usually Paul Draper, but it appears that some wines are being partially taken over by others) that explains how the growing season went, how the wine was made (submerged-cap fermentation or whatever), how it was aged, and when it was bottled. In addition, the front of the label will tell the exact mixture of grape varieties and the exact alcohol content. None of this may seem exceptional today, but it was when Ridge started making wine back in the 1950s. All the information-packed labels that are so common with wine and beer today (at least wine and beer made in the United States) owe a little something to Ridge. And if one considers who founded Ridge, it really is no surprise that their labels are as they are: Dave Bennion, Hew Crane, Charlie Rosen, and Howard Zeidler were all scientists and engineers at the Stanford Research Institute; and Ridge began as a hobby that grew out of their joint purchase of a vacation home on Monte Bello.

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