Nov 012006
Authors: Hallie Woods

“If you’re old enough to die, you’re old enough to drink.”

That’s exactly how Phil Pringle remembers the days when 18 was the legal drinking age and men were dying in the Vietnam War. It was also during this time that Pringle was beginning to learn about wine, which became one of the passions in his life.

Pringle, co-owner of Pringles Fine Wine and Spirits, 2100 Drake Road, began learning the art of wine drinking when he was just 18, reading about and tasting wines from all over the world. Now, Pringle teaches this art to others through classes he offers through his store, which sells more than 3,500 types of wine.

Besides learning about wine, Pringle also has become friends with vineyard owners in Europe and around the world. He is currently anticipating a trip to Germany where he will stay with vineyard owners and sellers in the Rhine Valley.

To Pringle, wine drinking is an art that he wants to encourage in others. College is a time where many are just becoming old enough to drink, and he believes there is no better time to start enjoying the art of friends, conversation, elegance and appreciation.

“It’s not being drunk,” Pringle said. “It’s getting there with friends, food and conversation.”

Verve editor Hallie Woods can be reached at


Tips for wine drinking from Phil Pringle

How to serve wine:

White wines should be chilled and served cold.

Red wines, contrary to what many believe, should not be served at room temperature, but rather, at 57 degrees. Prior to serving, fill a bucket with cold tap water, and let bottle sit in the bucket until chilled.

How to taste wine:

1) Hold your wine glass up to a light. The contents should be clear without any debris.

2) Swirl the wine in the glass. The glass should be only a quarter full, so swirling should be easy.

3) Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle to your nose. Close your eyes and smell the wine. An experienced wine taster will be able to smell all the components that make up the wine.

4) Take a small sip of the wine, holding it in your mouth for 15 seconds. After you swallow, see how long the flavor lasts in your mouth. A good wine will hold a strong flavor long after you swallow, while a bad wine will have a short or bitter finish.

Did you know?

All grapes but one produce a white colored juice. Wines get their color from how long they sit on the grape skins. Darker wines will have a stronger flavor and darker color because they sit on the skins for a longer period of time.

Phil Pringle gave the Collegian seven inexpensive, but quality, French wines to taste. Here is the information from Pringle, as well as the Collegian editorial board’s feedback.

Name/Brand: Chateau De La Pelissiere/Pierre Vigneron

Type: White Bordeaux

Year: 2004

Color: White

Price $7.99

Information: The Sauvignon Gris grapes used in this wine are unusual, and cannot be found in the United States.

Collegian editorial board opinion: Light and not too dry. Not as fruity as the banter on the label made it out to be. Our favorite wine.

Name/Brand: Vins Julien Schaal

Type: Riesling

Year: 2004

Color: White

Price $10.49

Information: This Riesling is created in the Alsace region on the border of France and Germany

Collegian editorial board opinion: Robust and not sweet. Flavors of hazelnut and apricot.

Name/Brand: Domaine Michel David

Type: Chardonnay

Year: 2005

Color: White

Price: $6.99

Information: It’s very unusual to grow Chardonnay grapes in the valley in France where this wine is made.

Collegian editorial board opinion: Our least favorite white. Not a lot of flavor and a little too dry.

Name/Brand: Chauteau Des Chapelains

Type: Ros/

Year: 2005

Color: Pink/Red

Price: $7.49

Information: This is a fuller-bodied wine, darker in color than some Ros/s. In this case, the juices from the grapes have been left on the skins longer for a more robust flavor and color.

Collegian editorial board opinion: Not too dry, a little bitter but finished nicely.

Name/Brand: Beaujolais-Villages/Pierre Olivier

Type: Red

Year: 2005

Price: $8.49

Collegian editorial board opinion: Weaker taste, with a short finish but not bitter. Our favorite red.

Name/Brand: Pierre Olivier

Type: Pinot Noir

Year: 2003

Color: Red

Price: $7.49

Information: This Pinot Noir is produced in the southern part of France.

Collegian editorial board opinion: Tangy with a floral nose. A bit harsh.

Name/Brand: Chateau Jeanguillon

Type: Bordeaux Superieur

Year: 2002

Color: Red

Price: $6.99

Collegian editorial board opinion: Not bold, but predictable.

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