Article from The Asian Age (..the source of ALL my wine news..)
Do those New World Cabernets and Zinfandels make your head spin? Fed up with having to stop drinking after just one glass?
Plenty of wine lovers around the world will have noticed their favorite tipples are getting stronger, and many of them are unhappy about the hangovers that come with increased alcohol levels.
But it seems they have only themselves to blame as experts say that changing consumer tastes are mainly responsible for driving the trend. Wine critics and advances in winemaking techniques also shoulder some of the blame for what experts say are unbalanced wines that can cause health risks and safety issues, casting a pall over the pleasure of imbibing.
“The rise in alcohol content of wine is primarily man-made,” reported a working paper by the American Association of Wine Economists in 2011.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s a time and a place for high alcohol wines!
I don’t think we’re in any danger of seeing wine stores dominated by wines with 16%+ alcohol wines, but this “high octane trend” does seem to be quickly filtering down to grocery stores and wine lists of chain restaurants.
Maybe I’m getting old, but I myself used to be a big fan of these “monster” wines; but now they give me a hangover after just a few glasses.
As my wine drinking has evolved, I let “subtlety and elegance” take the place of “high alcohol” and “crazy fruit extraction.” I’m not saying that’s the path everyone should take…actually…that’s a lie…that’s EXACTLY what I’m saying! In-fact the sooner drinkers can appreciate wines that don’t “let it all hang out,” the sooner they’ll realize that many of the wines they used to love…well…all taste the same.
With said, the success of brands like Mollydooker and Orin Swift didn’t come because they make subtle and restrained wines. U.S. wine drinkers DO love some “guts” to their juice; at least, that’s what I’ve found, but personally these bottles just don’t float my boat the way they used to.Posted in News | Tagged High alcohol wines | Leave a comment //
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When people think of Bordeaux, sweet wine is more than likely the LAST thing on their mind!
Sauternes and Barsac, in the Bordeaux region of France, make a very different kind of wine than people have come to know Bordeaux for; namely, sweet and white. But growers in the region have slowly started to move away from producing sweet whites, after they’ve seen it fall out of fashion with the general public.
“It’s sad because Sauternes has never been better,” said Andreas Larsson, a Swede who won the “Best Sommelier in the World” competition in 2007. “But that’s the way the world is going. There’s no market for sweet wine.”
Adding to the woes of Sauternes was a disastrous 2010 vintage, in which some of the top properties, including D’Yquem, decided not to make any sweet wine at all, saying the grapes lacked the necessary concentration.
What is different now is that some chateaus are giving up entirely on sweet wine, and outsiders are moving in, looking to make dry wines in the area.
Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier, which produces some of the greatest dry red and white wines in Bordeaux, from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, said “Sauternes is one of the greatest white wine terroirs in the world, for sweet or dry wine, but what the market wants now is dry wine.”
I always have the hardest time selling/tasting people on sweet dessert wines…actually…let me rephrase that: Wines in the “dessert wine” category are no problem to sell, it’s more their levels of sweetness within that category.
Not all dessert wines are created equal, and people have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that Moscato and Sauternes are in the same category, since they have very different levels of sweetness.
I guess what bugs me is that I keep reading these articles from numerous “well-respected authors/sources” saying that tastes are changing and people are gradually moving into drier styles of wine. I don’t know where they’re getting their information, but I couldn’t disagree more! The recent Moscato craze should help to – at least partially – backup my theory.
As with most of these “issues of taste” in the wine industry, I put it down to educating the consumer i.e. no-one knows what to do with Sauternes! Do you drink it like table wine? Do you sip it like brandy? Do you pour it over your ice-cream? What do you do with it?!?!
Those, at least, are the problems I personally see from my time spent “in the trenches” (and by ‘”trenches,” I mean running a wine bar…)
I hate to say it, but this story is just another example of French wine producers wailing “Woe, is me!” after they have rested on their laurels, struggled to move with the times and failed to continue to educate wine drinkers on their product.
Wine consumption is at an all time high. There should be no excuse for slow sales of ANY wine category. Problem is, now that Sauternes producers have dug themselves into a hole, digging their way out is going to be quite the struggle. On second thoughts, maybe they can convince a rapper to write a song about it! Hmmmmm….now let me think….what rhymes with Sauternes….???Posted in News | Tagged Bordeaux, France, Sauternes | 2 Comments //
The problem here is that there’s a growing number of smaller wineries who are placing great emphasis on the land (that goes way beyond the marketing hype on the back label of their bottles), and so the differences are becoming more and more apparent with every vintage in Napa.
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This was sent to me by a school-teacher friend a couple of days ago. She thought I might enjoy it. She was right! According to her text messages, the exact conversation went as follows:
Kid: “Why are you taking a picture of my work?”
Teacher: “Because my friend sells wine…”
Kid: “Your friend sells wine?”
Teacher: “Yes. He’ll like this…”
Posted in Funny | Tagged funny meme, Funny wine meme, Wine meme | Leave a comment //