Friday, December 3, 2010

Wine Friday........Sweet.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist but many of us wine geeks have for a long time been complaining about the globalization of taste and homogenization of style in wine. Is it something to really be concerned with? I don't know for sure but sometimes I see a trend and it scares me.

This one centers on sugar. I think many wines are becoming sweeter. First, it started with know like Kendall Jackson and that signature nutrasweet flavor they have in their wine. Most of us were like big deal we don't like or drink that crap anyway. But of course, because of their success many other Chardonnays came along that "benchmarked" their style off the most successful one and now there are shit load of sweeter Chardonnays out there. I had one last week that tasted like a freaking vanilla creamcicle and that is just wrong.

When it was just white wine I was like, whatever.....let them eat their cake and I'll drink white burgundy! But......I'm seeing it just a bit in red wines now too. A little sweetness in red wine that is just below the detection threshold shows itself as smoothness and richness in a red wine, especially younger wines. I'm seeing it in the current Malbec craze. Many of these wines have elevated sugars for sure. How about Yellow Tail Shiraz? Tell me that wine was dry?

Now..........I'm actually seeing sweeter reds hitting the market but they aren't really labeled as such. I tried this one called Apothic Red over the holidays. It reminds of Menage a Tois, another red blend. This wine is decidedly sweet on my palate. Sweet isn't a problem. I like sweet. I like Sauternes. I like Port. I like Riesling. Hell, I even like Moscato. But I know they are sweet. This wine isn't that sweet. It is just sneaky sweeter than you would expect. Apothic and Menage a Tois kinda market themselves by their packaging and label as big, bold, dry wines. They don't seem to indicate anywhere I can find on the label that as a consumer I should expect them to be well......sweeter. It is kinda like getting the girl you picked up at the bar back to your place and finding out she has a dick. A bad surprise.

I'm not a hater by nature. I can't say I didn't like Apothic Red. It was a fine for a sweet(er) red. My friends absolutely loved it. I could see it going really well with a chocolate and cherry dessert. My mind started thinking.......hmmmm....what are they up to here? Americans are a sweet culture.....soda drinkers. Secretly appeal to them while because people want to say they drink dry but really like sweet? Maybe. Am I crazy?

So, no problem. I was glad my friends preferred this wine. This way I had a completely delicious bottle of 2007 Quintessa all to myself. And. it. ROCKED. If you have an extra $125 I highly recommend it. Huge, rich, dark.........did it too have a touch of sweetness? Nope. Jackass. Your mind is messing with you.

Happy Friday all. Cheers and Vaya Con Dios!

1 comment:

Mo Rage said...

Two thoughts on the sweetening of wines:

1) I bet you're right

2) I hope you're wrong

It fits. Manufacturers of foods will do anything, especially if it involves making things sweeter, if they can sell more. Disgusting.

The younger the drinker, the more preference I bet there is for a sweetness. Also, not to go all sexist on you here or anything but, by an large, I do think it's accurate to say that women prefer sweeter wines. That's been my experience.

Some wine makers will have to hold out for us, hopefully, and keeping making exceptionally dry, rich, full-bodied red and white wines that don't cheapen themselves with this sweeter taste.