Sunday, November 1, 2009


I've seen quince used as a descriptor in tasting notes fairly often, especially with respect to white wines. Thanks to the new local Whole Foods (i.e. Whole Paycheck), I got a chance to try to a quince for just a bit more than the price of an apple.

The quince is an interesting fruit. It looks like a pear, but is a bit more spherical in shape just like in the Wikipedia image. Tastes like a pear, too, but is somewhat crisp in structure like an apple, and more acidic like a citrus fruit. The real surprise, though, is that it's as tannic as any Cabernet you'll ever taste. Despite being juicy, it simply dries your mouth out as the tannins lock down on your proteins. I now understand why it's not found at your everyday grocery store. Just like the Brits' other favorite fruit, the currant, it's not something one just picks up and chows down on.

It's interesting to consider that, while the correspondence isn't exactly one to one, a British palate might well describe a pear in terms of its relationship to a quince. Just as I imagine that a currant in a tasting note represents some sort of earthy, exotic blackberry, I'll imagine a quince as a pear-like fruit with other qualities added to it. Good to know when trying to decode the obscure language of a tasting note.

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