TWC Leaf
 
Search Categories


Wine Tour India - A unique Blend of Hospitality & Knowledge

Updates From Facebook

Wine Blog
winenews_previous winenews_next

Authentic Wine and Mistaking the Tail For the Snout


21 - dec - 11

by Tom Wark

The author is an American wine blogger, a public relations professional in the California wine industry and founder of the American Wine Blog Awards

I don't like the idea of taking issue with Jamie Goode. He's smarter than me. He's a better writer than me. And he's better looking than me. But on this issue of "Authentic Wine", the topic of his latest book, Jamie gets it wrong.

I
n fact, it's the very premise of his and Sam Harrop's "Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking" that can't be justified. In their introduction they write:

"
Wine is now at a metaphorical fork in the road and from here it can go one of two ways. The first is to continue down the road taken by New World branded wines: huge volumes, a reliance on technology and marketing, reliability at the cost of individuality, an emphasis on sweet fruit flavors and a loss of terroir....The Other road involves a retracing of steps and a celebration of what has made wine different and special: a respect for tradition, a sense of place, and an acknowledgement that diversity is valuable and not just a convenience."

Jamie and Sam have penned a false choice and they've done so based on a fiction.

The great defining aspect of the world wine industry in the last 20 years is DIVERSITY. In California alone the vast majority of wineries are small or medium sized wineries that focus on an artisan approach to winemaking that values terroir, estate vineyards and single vineyard wines with the goals exposing terroir. This isn't opinion. This is fact.

Yet the set up in "Authentic Wine" would have you believe that unless the right choices are made, wine lovers will be hurled down into a pit of sameness, no long able to access unique, terroir driven wines.

The authors go on to offer another great fiction: "The middle ground, once flush with diversity, has rapidly eroded, and those still in the game are seeing their access to market dry up."

Wrong. Right now, within seconds, I can locate 1000s of wines from 50 different states. Give me a few more seconds and I can locate many thousands of wines from countries such as France, Australia, Germany, Uruguay and Canada. There's no erosion in the wine marketplace. There is hyper diversity.

I honestly don't know how Jamie and Sam come to this conclusion that diversity in wine is diminishing. It's a notion that is undermined by logging on to the Internet and marveling at the huge, vast diversity of wine in the marketplace and available to all. It's a notion that is undermined by tasting the wines from various vineyards and regions in California, Oregon, Texas, Washington, New Zealand and nearly every other serious winemaking country.

But it occurs to me that there must be a good reason to write a book that attempts to define and explore  "Authentic Wine". That reason has to be based on the defense of something. The "Natural Wine" movement has a very evangelaic quality to it. Those who adhere to this undefined realm of winemaking either imply or say that they are trying to save the wine industry from itself, from forces that are pushing what was once an authentically artisan, craft-laden endeavor toward eventual sameness. Marking a metaphorical fork in the road is one way to do that...even if it doesn't exit.

In many ways the "Natural Wine" and now "Authentic Wine" movement is well behind the curve. Winemakers the world over have long embraced the notion of exposing terroir and connecting a wine to the plot of land from which it derives. Sustainably farmed vineyards proliferate all over the globe. Minimalist cellar techniques are common place. Native Yeasts have long been favored by many winemakers without even knowing there was such a movement as "native wine".

Those currently pushing the idea of "Natural Wine" think they may be on to something transformational and important when in fact what they have done is mistaken the tail of the dog for its snout.

 

To read the original post log on to http://fermentation.typepad.com

 




Share
Country Music Quotes

She ain't into wine and dinin, She's shooting whiskey singing sweet child of mine, Ridin 95 sittin' shot gun pretty. #BrantleyGilbert

Sun Sep 14 13:06:23 2014
Custom Cutting Board

AVAILABLE in Large & Small ~ CUTTING BOARD - WINE & CHEESE | Words with Boards http://t.co/4z2aDG7F8L http://t.co/P4sOAICUxz

Mon Sep 15 19:39:59 2014
Carrie Bradshaw

I've got 99 problems and wine solves all of em....

Mon Sep 15 18:06:02 2014
fugazi.

โ€œ@nichhicks: โ€œ@4Tounces: Is champagne a kind of wine?โ€ noโ€ exit my mentions ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ http://t.co/5qZYAQEfq9

Tue Sep 16 02:52:44 2014
Caroline

RT @svntos: jesus turned water into wine but i managed to turn wine into liver damage and an addiction. worship me

Tue Sep 16 02:52:43 2014
Sami giese

RT @WomensHumor: I'm going to drink a glass of wine tonight because I didn't kill anyone at work today.

Tue Sep 16 02:52:43 2014
Woro wijayanti M

RT @Mas_Gombal: Sweet but not honey, precious but not money, bright but not sunshine, improves with time but not wine. dont know? it's you โ€ฆ

Tue Sep 16 02:52:41 2014
Dan O

RT @countryclubhell: If you want to see the grapes of wrath, steal my wine.

Tue Sep 16 02:52:40 2014
Yea Its B

@_KashBreezy i ran to the kitchen and saw him grabbing the straw-ber-rita out the fridge...๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Tue Sep 16 02:52:39 2014
Kate H.

@ingloriousboh You're on fire tonightโ€ฆor I've had a few too many glasses of wine.

Tue Sep 16 02:52:39 2014

Live Updates from Twitter

Comments









User Comments
AomJai
AomJai
I like the helpful inofrmation you provide for your articles. I'll bookmark your blog and take a look at again right here frequently. I'm moderately certain I will learn many new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the next! http://abxfebkdnc.com [url=http://juilubcgef.com]juilubcgef[/url] [link=http://jwfgwvn.com]jwfgwvn[/link]
Huy
Huy
Amanda Yeah, I think it probably comes down to the fact that a nerd is a nerd. We just shift our focus from one thing to be nerdy about to aonhter. Keep on rockin' for the kids! Benito Nice! I like it. All kinds of ways that we could apply this connection.
Isa
Isa
Hello! I could have sworn Iedve been to this web site before but after lokoing at some of the posts I realized iteds new to me. Regardless, Iedm certainly delighted I discovered it and Iedll be bookmarking it and checking back often!
Drims
Drims
I know, it is crazy how many of us winos are former punks, hadcorre, or goth kids. Pretty funny.Man, you mention so many great bands there. You don't hear people mention bands like the Dolls, Television, and the Heartbreakers too much. How about Richard Hell and the Voidoids? The Stooges anyone? http://oakrnonamj.com [url=http://ihbxugqbmxu.com]ihbxugqbmxu[/url] [link=http://qbikow.com]qbikow[/link]
Muhammad
Muhammad
It is pretty ientresting that it seems a bunch of us wine nerds were once music nerds (though I could never play, I enjoyed it heavily). I guess it's all the same, really. You don't understand/enjoy (Fill in: Black Flag, Tool, Riesling, Merlot) like I do! Flash to my real life: I'm working on my company's master grape list while rocking out pretty hard. Hmm. http://pwazoynztiy.com [url=http://qmaqwbwbwnp.com]qmaqwbwbwnp[/url] [link=http://dfpuvhwwc.com]dfpuvhwwc[/link]
Lucas
Lucas
Haha you know, I could write this exact blog over again, except reaplce Velvet Underground with Rites of Spring (though now I would say Suis La Lune much more wine-friendly punk rock). And I've become obsessed with wine as quickly as I did with music. One feature I've been considering for my blog is pairing wines with music we'll see how that goes next week, I reckon!
Soon
Soon
Nice post Ben! You know I would love this, bro. As a teenager I was yilelng in a punk band. I've noticed a lot of us wine geeks had a hard edge a lil' while ago. You would think swirling and sniffing wine geeks would have had Toto, Asia, and Europe in the tape deck when we wanted something with a little edge back in the day. But it's all about the Pistols, Dead Boys, Dolls, The Shirts, Heartbreakers, Clash, Bad Brains, Sham 69, Exploited, Misfits, Television, etc and oh yeah, that's my favorite Ramones song. Good thing Joey held grudges. Speaking of Ramones, remember when Dee Dee tried to be a rapper? Chk that on YouTube. Freaking hilarious!Cheers Dezel
Zana
Zana
With almost eviyntherg that seems to be developing inside this area, all your points of view are fairly stimulating. On the other hand, I am sorry, but I do not give credence to your whole strategy, all be it stimulating none the less. It would seem to everyone that your remarks are actually not entirely rationalized and in simple fact you are generally yourself not totally confident of the argument. In any event I did appreciate looking at it.
giftsrakhi
giftsrakhi
The auspicious celebration of Rakhi is on 2nd August 2012. Itโ€™s the perfect time to celebrate the special bond of a brother and sister. Perk up the lives of your loved ones with our wonderful Rakhi gifts for delivery all over India. For details, visit www.rakhiworldwide.com/rakhi2.asp
Designed & Developed by  www.efrontier.in