Friday, June 29, 2012

Judgment of Paris Part 2 "The Rant"

Please scroll down to read Part 1 first.

Now here is the sobering thing about wine really is subjective.  You may taste the same lineup blind on consecutive days and come up with widely varying assessments because you are human and one day's objectivity doesn't necessarily carry over to the next.  Life is impactful and our tasting consciousness would have to be vulnerable to outside influences.

Similarly, wines tried in restaurants or elsewhere and then purchased at retail often disappoint because either the food combination improved the wine or the aura of the restaurant was a factor or the specialness of the occasion or the company or something else made the wine taste better the night before.  In the case of traditional European wines vis-a-vis California wines, the Europeans are drier and really do show best with food.  I guess that could work the other way around also with the wine tasting better at home for a number of reasons.

Now here is the dark side of the wine industry:  From the time the product leaves the winery to its arrival on your table, it has either been transported and warehoused well or perhaps, shamefully.  Rarely is it cellared at 52-54 degrees consistently.  So you may taste two bottles of the same wine and get different results if they weren't in the same sealed case.  The quality of cork, of course, could be a factor for differences within a single case of wine.

But here is the larger problem for our southern climate: We have wine warehouses similar to Sam's Clubs that have pallet racks that go up twenty feet with minimal temperature control and expensive wines being stored on the top level during the summer months because they don't sell as fast as cheaper ones.  We also have unrefrigerated trucks that may deliver the goods at 4pm in ninety degree weather.

Moreover (!) we may have an industry that values liquor sales over wine and doesn't feel inclined to correct abuses because the liquor sales are fine.  One reason for the wine tasting results of Paris '76 was that that industry had fallen into disrepair and neglect and needed to be improved.  Competition is good.  It promotes self-examination and corrects the bad habits that led to expediency in production.  One would hope that realization might lead to improvements in Atlanta's wine distribution.

Whew! I need to relax.  Please join us this evening when Curtis Gauthier of Empire Distributing presents the wines of Waterbrook of Washington State here from 5 to 7pm.

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