Sunday, June 29, 2008

French Wine or California Wine? by Denman Moody

It sometimes makes me crazy to see articles by wine writers telling consumers that they should not like big, rich, opulent California wines. Sure, I can't stand over oaked wines. And when a wine is 16% alcohol and out of balance, I don't want it--with food or not. but these nuts who say we should never produce a wine with more than 14% alcohol are nuts themselves. Because of nature (as in GREEN), our wines many times don't reach phenolic ripeness until 14% alcohol or more. To pick grapes just because they've reached the sugar levels that some of the revered wines of France reach just before picking, is absurd. Sometimes, in Europe, they couldn't attain our degree of ripeness if weather conditions there were perfect.

Sometimes I think they are so down on our wines because THEY CAN'T MAKE WINES LIKE OURS! I think the 1976 Paris tasting, in which our wines kicked their wines' tails (with all French judges), was certainly an eye opener. Even the judgings much later have proved our wines age much better than anyone ever thought. And now I read from some writer that since our wines have so much alcohol, that now our wines won't age anymore, and will lose the blind tastings. Bring them on!

My main point is that I love great Bordeaux wines. I also love great California wines. You can drink the ones you like, and you can write about the ones you like. But quit telling people what they should like. Of course you should experiment. And you should drink different wines with different foods. But your palate is the best palate on earth
for you. And don't let anyone tell you differently. Denman Moody, owner of


Personal Wine said...

Denman, I couldn't agree with you more. I often have people that are too embarrassed to tell me they are rose or white zinfandel drinkers. "What ever floats your boat" I tell them. After all good wine is like good art, in the eye of the beholder (except in this case its the tongue). Excellent post. -Alex

javier said...

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moose said...

Hi all - i think the whole argument is engaging but false. It doesn't MATTER! The beauty of wine is in, for example, the lovely niebbolo from a mexican winery that I tried last week .... different, surprising, full of pleasure. But RANKING wine is such a crazy idea, except on a purely personal level. DESCRIBING it is the real challenge - because that's the mechanism for sharing it through blogs like these. And as we all know words are less subtle that wine, but surely better than numbers. Happy new year - if it is your new year, that is.