'Making the complex understandable'
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The Wine Prof
I am aware that wine, like fashion will change, due to new concepts and innovative ideas. Some wines like the fashion for flare trousers simply lose their appeal. The iconics like Dior and Bordeaux I believe stay in the forefront as they are being used by industry and consumers as aspirational standards and as a bench mark by which to measure quality.
Although my specialities are in Bordeaux , South African and German wines, I don't believe in limiting myself to these.
I have seen many changes and shifts in wine consumption with 'boutique' wines, organic wines, wine pairing and also a rising interest in the new generation of wine producers who are looking at the wines they produce being seen by their consumers as 'lifestyle statements'.
So what is new, what's changed?
‘The public wants what the public gets’ is a line from a 1970s popular anthem by the band Jam and, if we fast forward to today, it's more true than ever, particularly insofar as the unimaginative range of many supermarkets is concerned.
Thirty years ago the real diversity of wines offered was much greater than today, even though now the supermarkets may boast of having more labels. I’ll use, as an example the wines from south-west France. At that time, the UK shopper could easily find some eclectic and distinctive wines. For instance, Jurançon, sweet spicy and tropical, made from the Petit and Gros Manseng grape varieties; white Gaillac, somewhat nervy, made from a blend of mostly local varieties including Len de l’El, Mauzac and Ondenc; Madiran, a wine with attitude, exuding wonderful leathery anis flavours of the predominant Tannat variety; Irouléguy, deep, brooding, dark and tannic and again made mostly from Tannat; and many more. Today, their place has been taken on the shelves by ubiquitous south-eastern Australian Chardonnay and Cabernet Shiraz, perhaps bearing many different labels including the supermarkets’ own, but in reality the bottles containing similar wine as they are produced by one or other of the ‘super’ wine factories. The reds are fruity and soft. The whites are fruity and soft. And they are..... oh so boring.
In the coming weeks, here at thewineprof, you can discover and learn about wines with a sense of place. Some you will love, others you might hate but, when you taste, each will tell you that it is individual, and proud of its origin.