Thursday, October 14, 2004


Normally I'd save this for a Friday, but I'm typing right now and this happens to be what's coming out. I figure I may as well roll with it.

Certainly we all have vices secret and otherwise. No doubt you'll be a little suprised at some of mine. While I doubt any of you were suprised to find that Vox has a Duran Duran fetish, you may be suprised to find out that I have a thing for wine.

I have a particular fondness for Californian and Australian wines, while I have almost complete disdain for the French. Largely this is related to the technology involved, as Americans and Aussies use modern chemical engineering to assure consistancy. At the same time quality control in France is truely pathetic.

You should understand that paying more than 15 bucks for a bottle of French wine is insane. It's like playing the lottery. It may be one of the best bottles you've ever had, or it may be red piss. Even if it is excellent, you can go back and try the exact same vintage agian, and it will likely taste entirely different.

Of the three most notable trends in the industry, 2 are pretty contraversial. The first is the modernization of the process. The use of modern technologies to chart the chemical reactions, and chemical make-ups of the wines. Traditional wineries (mostly in France) refuse to modernize. They've done it a certain way for 300 or 400 years and they ain't changin'. This modernization has actually rekindled the second contraversial topic; Cork Failure.

Now cork failure is an interesting debate. One that modernization has shed a lot of light on. Once you have quality control down, you have a better idea of how often corks really fail. It's remarkable to me that people will see a bottle with a twist cap and assume its cheap wine. This is just silly. You can hardly blame today's wine makers for switching to caps. They've spent tons of money insuring that their wines are consistant. They simply aren't going to tolerate a bottle being ruined by a cork that didn't seal.

Contrast this with the traditionalist over in France. They already know their wine is inconsisant, and cork failure gives them a built in excuse. Every time someone gets a crappy bottle out of a high scoring vintage, they automaticly blame the cork.

This comes down to American professionalism vs. European tradition... Ah but enough... let's have some fun! What about some recommendations?

Jacob's Creek: Aussie's released a Chardonnay-Pinot Noir this year. Love them.
Avila: Their cabernet scored an 87... it costs 13 bucks. What more do you want?
Buehler: A cabernet for those looking to spend a little more. A 90, at 32 bucks. Unbelievable.

While on a trek through the dessert a wise man was offered some grapes to help him along. He declined saying, "I never take my wine in pill form."

No comments: