I read a lot of time reading about wine, books, blogs and many forms of social media. Too much time probably. Spending much of the last four years or so on a wine domaine, learning about vines, winemaking and wines themselves I have developed a thirst for more knowledge as well as a thirst for wines. However on many occasions I become quite irritated by what I read or hear. Time to stop my whinges from fermenting further.
My biggest whinge is generalisation. I am undoubtedly guilty of this myself so when I criticise others, I am aware that I may well be hypocritical. By generalisation I refer to statements such as “I love Chablis”, “I don’t like Chardonnay” or “natural wines are full of faults”. This is palpable nonsense, sometimes said as a shortcut but just nonsense. There are great Chablis wines, there are very poor ones. There are bland, neutral Chardonnays but there are many great ones which would appeal to anyone who likes good wines. The latter is just nonsense. The importance of producers is often overlooked, give me a Macon from some producers to a Cote D’Or from others.
I appreciate that nuance is too longhand for much social media comment but please, cut down simplistic generalisation.
Another whinge would be wine pairing. People get so hung up on this. If you know a wine goes well with a dish then great but, in my opinion, many wines will partner dishes, it’s a matter of personal taste. Of course there are some which will go better but if I like a wine and I want to drink it then I will, it doesn’t concern me whether it brings out certain flavours or not. Relax, enjoy the wine and the food.
One whinge which might upset some. Some producers get praise and an easy ride from Anglophones just because they are themselves Anglophone. I understand it is easier for some people to visit winemakers who speak your own language and there is a special interest in people from your own country making wine. And there are some excellent examples, the Cores of Mas Gabriel in Caux, Joe Jefferies in Caux, Jonathan Hesford and Rachel Treloar in Trouillas. I do come across others though who I think get an easy ride or too much praise simply because of who they are rather than their wines. Even some of the most famous critics are guilty of such bias in my view, and it is my view.
I could go on, please don’t get me started on wine competitions and judging, subsidised wine jaunts for journalists etc. So, if you have any wine whinges please let me know.
Or just whinge at me!