The Cyrano Wine Column - 5 Things I Hope Go Away in 2013 (but I know will not)

January 17, 2024

5 Things I Hope Go Away in 2013 (but I know will not)


1. Point based scoring of wines – Do we really need this anymore? Have we not matured enough as a wine consuming society to be able to do away with this nonsense? One of the most enjoyable and surprising wines I had in 2012 came in a box, meant to be enjoyed with family and friends, none of whom asked what score it received.

2. The “Natural Wine Movement” and all the peripheral claptrap associated with it. I just need producers who are doing their level best to take care of their vines and the community surrounding them. In 2002 I visited Frankland Estate winery located in a tremendously remote area of Western Australia. They used no pesticides and actually had Guinea Fowl in the vineyard to take care of the insects. When asked why, the response was that they would take out anything they put into the ground and felt less was best. No cow’s horn, no pain in the ass natural wine blogger judging them. Just doing the right thing. That is all I need. And I don’t need them to make wine the way they did 200 years ago either. Science and progress are good and if they can find out how to keep the wine fresh for travel without adding a butt load of chemicals I’m all good with that. If you are a believer in the old ways then please, treat your Syphilis naturally as well and forgo the Penicillin. In for a penny, in for a pound.

3. Drinking Locally- really just a nifty bit of protectionist Jingoism dreamt up by those lucky enough to have a drinkable local product. How many winemakers from, say, Santa Barbara County, demand on drinking only Santa Fe wines on their ski trip to Taos? Local consumption is a great idea for perishables but just posturing when it comes to wine.

4. Wine Spectator Grand Awards – You cannot begin to imagine how costly it is to secure this award and then to maintain it. And that cost is then passed on to the consumer in the form of egregiously overpriced wine lists. Truly a disservice to the end user.

5. Keg wines – a fad which needs to go away. I have always felt that the nitrogen used in these systems to preserve and push the wine through the lines had a deleterious effect on the wines. Argon is really the only truly inert gas that should be used but is often not based on the expense. Nitrogen is the gas of choice and, as any base understanding of chemistry will bear out, Nitrogen reacts with oxygen. (NO2 anyone?) For me, this leaves the wine a bit dumb and lacking real freshness. Choose boxed wine. Maybe not as cool but much less oxygen exchange and really just as environmentally friendly.

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