WHEN THE Wall Street Journal sent me two bottles of Croft Quinta da Roêda 2012 Vintage Port, the only Port I had tasted up to that point was reminiscent of cough syrup. But various tasting notes I found for this one promised a “resiny, musky redolence of wild herbs” as well as flavors of apricot, raspberry, black cherry, violets, green coffee bean, bitter chocolate and “firm, sinewy tannins.”
As it happened, these two bottles entered a conversation already in progress, regarding what we’re really talking about when we talk about flavor. It had begun when I tried introducing a Korean physicist friend to my native Northern California wine. He usually drinks whiskey.