I'm sure you've seen that word, you may even understand that word….and certainly some don't necessarily believe the reality of it's existence, but in general, there is, worldwide agreement that terroir contributes to the flavor profile of wine.
Terroir is the term that describes the concept that an interrelationship exists between site soil, water, topography and climate (micro, macro and meso–yes, there is such a thing as meso-climate, look it up, it is interesting), and that wine produced from grapes of an individual area will have a distinct expression of that land. Really, terroir relates to any crop. An example would be that a chardonnay grown in CA will have very different predominant elements than, let's say a white burgandy from France (also a chardonnay). Really, there are even big differences in a Carneros Chardonnay vs let's say a Paso Robles Chardonnay.
When is it useful to know about a wine's terroir????? When it is time to do a food pairing! Like wine, food carries with it the terrroir from the area in which it was produced, that's why when you are ever in doubt, a safe bet is to pair your wine with a food that carries flavors, or ingredients from the same region. Two quick and easy ideas: Try carne asada (in or out of a taco) with a Catena or Bodega Norton Malbec (go Argentina)….or try a Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine with artisinal cheeses from the Sonoma region, Petaluma, or Point Reyes.
Experiment with your own perfect matches…Report Back! xoxoSB