Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wine By The Numbers

Its no secret to anyone who reads this (infrequent) blog that I am no fan of the anti-high alcohol league. The league is those individuals, like Randy Dunn, Darrell Corti, Elin McCoy, and Dan Berger, who rant and rave against wines with alcohol levels above 14% and their supposed lack of balance, and over-ripe, prune-laden character. Well it seems that their opinions have caught on with some as this article by Lettie Teague in The Wall Street Journal notes. Now I will confess that I am not a big fan of richly flavored Pinot Noir wines that don’t express their varietal character all that well. Some of these have alcohols above 14% and while I struggle to appreciate them as wines that I can identify by grape variety that does not mean that they are not tasty examples of the winemaker’s art. But it would be pure folly on my part to advocate that Pinot Noir with more than 14% alcohol not be made. It would also be very petty of me to state that such wines won’t find a place in my cellar. I’d be even more suspect if I was to use federal labeling laws, which dictate that 14% alcohol and below is table wine, to justify my position. But the real evidence of my foolishness would be for me to apply my 14% rule only as I saw fit. Then I would be showing my true biases and I am sure I would be called a wine snob.

And so to conclude this post we can now add Rajat Parr, wine director of the San Francisco-based Michael Mina restaurant group, to the list of the anti-high alcohol league members. Wine snobs, one and all.

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