Vintage Blues: What a difference a year makes
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I remember when Umber introduced me to Meridian Chardonnay
in 1995, boy I was in love with that wine.
However, a couple of months later, it never seemed to have
flair that it had before. The reason was
the vintage, and that I had experienced a previous vintage
that is wonderful.
This time around, I was confronted with a different let
down, and that it is from Now & Zen.
Last year, I had a wonderful 2006 Wasabi White and this year
I have the
2007 Alsace White. Now, I think that
they simply changed the name, but both me and a friend can
grapefruit in this wine this time around, and that is
disheartening. I wish that I can find the phone number for
the producer so that I can call them and bitch about it;
they’re French, so
they’ll probably just hang up on me.
Last year got a rating of five, this year gets a rating of five.
Anyway, vintage refers to the year that a wine was
and for most wines with a year printed on them, that is the
year in which the
grapes were grown and harvested. There
is an exception though, and that deals with wines like
Madeira and Port which
use methods of mixing a percentage of one year’s grapes,
with another year’s
grapes in a cascading fashion so that the final product
could have grapes from
six to twenty or more years in it; it’s kind of like making
and passing on a
German Friendship cake.
Wines without their vintage listed are what’s called
non-vintage wines, and for the most part, they are about the
same as assembly
line Model-T Fords; they are all the same.
This is not to say that there are no great non-vintage
wines, but most
of these are simply And again, the
exception are dessert and fortified wines, like this Il
that I just opened.
But you’ve seen the scene in a movie or a television show
where someone orders a bottle of wine, and the waiter gives
them credit because
of the good choice that they made, not only because of the
wine, but especially
because of the vintage chosen. You know,
the funny thing is that most waiters don’t really know that
much about wine
except for what they’re taught, and again, they’re teaching
is usually based
around the wrong core of concepts. You
should drink what you like to drink, barring that knowing
the certain wines are
basically a [bad] introduction into the world of wine; yes,
I am calling out
White Zinfandel, White Merlot and what other mass-produced
crap that capitalists have made in order to reap massive
sales from a non-wine
There are some excellent harvests, and they are usually
based upon the growing season, and those are when people
within the world of
wine start looking for wines produced in those growing
seasons. But on the flip side, there are bad harvests,
where the wines produced don’t measure up to the normalized
standard of the
wine from year to year. Some producers
won’t commercially release a wine because they don’t want to
dilute their brand
and their reputation. Other producers
will simply churn out product, substandard or otherwise. I
am ashamed at Now & Zen.
Summarily, pay attention to both what you’re drinking, and
the year that it’s produced. Some wines
shouldn’t be consumed until they mature, and sometimes, some
wines are still
offered for consumption past their potable periods.
Well, that’s my article for today. As always, good
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