According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: No wine should be labeled like this

Monday, May 16, 2011

No wine should be labeled like this

A wine by any other name is still just a wine.  But if you believe two editors of Wine Press Northwest, a wine might be structured with “aromas of cassis, black cherry, roasted meat, Dutch chocolate and green tea. Say what!?

If my Italian grandfather, who already has gone to that great heavenly vineyard up in the sky, saw that statement he would die laughing. Dear God! What pretentious foppery. Our store shelves are bulging with so many different kinds of wines that the libation snobs are tripping over their tongues trying to convince us that one tastes markedly better than another because, to quote the Wine Press  Northwest editors again, this one has, “black cherry jam, graham cracker, menthol, cedar and black licorice aromas,” with a “fluidity to the satisfying structure on the palate with cherry pie, pomegranate, boysenberry, cassis and minerality.”

I SWEAR I’m NOT making this up.

The Wine Press Northwest editors describe several Northwest wines that way in an article titled Recession reds: Quality bargains, $15 and under, that appeared in The Olympian on Wednesday, May 11. To their credit, they weren’t trying to convince us to buy pricey wines, but holy grape-crushing nausea dudes!
I promptly drove to Trader Joes and bought six bottles of wine for a total of $31.46 (included tax), which calculated out to $5.24 a bottle. No, I didn’t buy Two-Buck Chuck, I bought three red wines: Trader Joe’s Coastal Zinfandel, Coastal Syrah and Coastal Merlot (all 2009 vintage) and three white wines: Trader Joe’s Petite Reserve Riesling from Monterey County; Green Fin, an organic table wine from Madera, CA; and a J.W. Morris 2010 California Moscato. Last night I was sipping a glass of Sutter Home 2009 California Zinfandel bought at Safeway for $4.50.

Boy, I would hate to go out for dinner with those editors of Wine Press Northwest. They would probably send the sommelier scurrying back to the wine cellar a dozen times before he brought them a wine worthy of their discerning noses and palates. Meanwhile, my dinner would turn stone cold.

Maybe I just don’t have what it takes to sniff out “big cherry notes, crushed leaf, eucalyptus and some grip at the end.” I admit that I have on occasion tasted a wine that I thought was really outstanding. I actually sprung for a whole case of a late-harvest Zinfandel in California once because it tasted so “velvety.” But basically I’m happy just drinking a wine that hasn’t turned into vinegar. My feelings about wine are nicely summed up by a cartoon on page 106 in the May 16, 2011, New Yorker magazine. Check it out.

Sam and I think that we have so much money in America, we think we can afford the luxury of being wine snobs (see March 21, 2011 blog). But you wine snobs never tasted anything as good as that precious red liquid that came out of the oak casks in my grandfather’s barn. It had essences of timothy hay, chicken feathers, manure and multiple layers of sweat and dust. Salud!

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