Tuesday, October 28, 2008
NEW BREEDS OR MONGRELS?
There was a time when it was quite clear to everyone what the key wine types and styles were to drink and an unofficial but helpful ranking put Chardonnay and Riesling at the top of the white wine rankings and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Syrah at the top of the red wine rankings.
It was not to say that other varietals were not worth drinking but was a nod to the consumer of which varietals when made at their best resulted in sublime tasting experiences.
Nowadays wine drinkers are confronted with a myriad of wine types and styles without any ranking guides official or unofficial.
That bloody awful Pinot Gris claims pricing and position with its more serious cousins and Viognier and Arneis are climbing the ladder pretending to be on the top tier. The classic blending material of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc are now sometimes seen on their own and Chenin Blanc, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, various Muscats, Tempranillo, Pinotage, Zinfandel, and others are all clamouring for attention.
OK. So call me a wine snob but I think it is important that distinctions are kept.
Sure, some tasty little wines are made from the non-aristocratic varietals but they will very rarely be great.
Keep them in their place I say.