Here is our latest episode of Jill’s and Phill’s Brilliant Wine Chat, where we talk about wine, travel, and so much more. What else came up here? Whales have vestigial legs! Personally, I love vestigial elements – the very-reduced vestiges of formerly-functional limbs or features. So, very often I find vestigial metapodia (the equivalent to the bones in the palm of the hand, or “palm” of the foot) of equids in archaeological excavations. Ancestors to today’s equids (donkeys, horses, mules, zebras, etc.) used to have more than the single toe that they have now, as well as more metapodia that joined those toes. Over time, the central toe evolved to function for all the toes, and the others became reduced in size and were eventually lost. The additional metapodia also became reduced in size and non-functioning, but traces of the bone remain to this day. Similarly, ancestors to modern whales used to have four, functioning legs. The fore legs “remain” as fins, but the back legs have become non-functioning vestigial limbs.
Now for the wine. We taste 2 Bulgarian wines, distributed in Philadelphia by Tom Deschere, Deschere’s Selected Wine & Spirits. The first of these was Edoardo Miroglio Brut NV, Bulgaria. This is a slightly-smokey sparkler that got mixed reviews from the tasting panel (e.g. Jill & Phill). The second wine, Vinex Slavyantsi Leva 2014, Bulgaria, got 2 thumbs up and you’ll find out why in the podcast. This wine is made of Chardonnay, Muscat, and Dimiat – a new grape for the both of us! The Leva wine is very aromatic, part of which is due to the Muscat grape, but also do to the Dimiat. We tasted a spicier, gewurztraminer-like quality; is Dimiat related to Gewurtz? Well, there is not a whole lot known about the grape, as only one of its “parents” is known: Gouais Blanc. Gouais Blanc was a pretty prolific grape that counts chardonnay among its many offspring. Since we don’t know the other parent, we can only speculate that Dimiat bears some relation to Gewurtz or a Gewurz-like grape.