This jet lag thing really has been a kick in the butt. And it has prevented me from my usual 3AM blog posting. My sincerest apologies o loyal readers. You have my word, I will do my best to resume my sleep deprived ways and be better about posting on a regular basis.
That said, I was forwarded an article from a friend this morning. The article, written for Bloomberg called “All That’s Wrong With Global Wine Is in This Bottle” and written by John Mariani, touches on an issue that has come up a lot lately – that of generic, non-descript wines. We have mentioned the term “terroir” before, well this is the exact opposite. A wine that is made SO technically correct, that it no longer possesses any UNIQUE charachteristics. Hence, a “lab wine”.
It is no coincidence that the Argentinian wine being reviewed by Mariani is made at a newer winery that apparently uses the consulting services of Michel Rolland. Roland is said to be a brilliant winemaker (consultant) but there are also those that say he is so brilliant in his precise methodology for making wine, that all the wines he consults for taste the same, regardless of their country of origin. And THAT many people say, is a problem.
But is it?
On the one hand I COMPLETELY understand the desire of wine purists to taste the “terroir”, or the sense of place. A wine made in France should taste of France (or the specific region within France where it was made). A wine from Argentina should taste like Argentina. A wine from Israel should taste like an Israeli wine. When you are buying a product, and often paying a premium for said product, you don’t want to think that the same product could have been made (and purchased) from another place and possibly for a cheaper price.
But at the same time, when you eat a burger do you think about where the cow was grazing before he went to burger heaven and became your dinner (sorry if the visual is a bit too graphic)? Do you wonder if the lemon wedge on your plate came from Florida or California? What if it came from Central America? Or the far east? Does origin really matter outside of wine? And does it matter for wine because some wine snobs told us it should??
I’m not sure what the answer is. But I do know that if someone is making a wine and charging $50 for it and I am told I can get virtually THE SAME wine (made in another place or even country) for $25, I’d buy the $25 one…
Happy unique wine tasting and have a great week!