A Glass of Real Wine Please

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Isn’t interesting how powerful an idea is. I remember working as a waiter back in the 80’s and 90’s. That was a time when wine consumption was the realm of celebrities and the French it seemed.

It was also a time when wines Schloss Laderheim, Black Tower, Blue Nun, Mateus and the like. As you remember these were are relatively sweet. Yet in the ‘it’ circles and amongst connoisseurs you were only accepted if you drank dry, specifically dry white wine. If I had a dollar for every time someone came into the restaurant and asked for a glass of dry white wine, I would be a rich man today. However when I served technically dry wines they were often met with not so happy faces, yet when what I served was technically off-dry it was loved unconditionally. The lesson I learned is that people love sweet wines, they just don’t like to be told about it.

Fast forward to today and look at the success of wines like Layer Cake (yup the whole line up), Apothic, Colby and the list goes on. Each of these is a juicy red California blend that has a lot of what we call in the industry, residual sugar. But that isn’t the perfect formula, what you need in addition to a load of residual sugar is vanilla flavour. This comes from ageing the wine in either American Oak barrels or ageing the wine with American Oak chips.

The best way I can describe these wines is that they remind me of a pin-up girl that has tons of make-up. Once you remove the make-up and photoshop there isn’t much attractive there.

They aren’t my cup of tea but they sure seem to sell well so  what do I know.

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