Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Class of Wine: Have the Lines Blurred?

So with all the vices in the world that people tend to partake in, there is always the, so-called elite society, in which most opinions of this vice dictates a kind of guide line in which the majority tends to adhere to. Wine isn't any different, and I call this the class society of old world versus new world. Although wine has been made throughout the world for thousands of years, such as in original Greek and European lore as a whole, I think the Classes of wine society is BULL...., you pick what follows. Ok maybe 10 years ago, these class designations had truth in its merits but now, there is so much good wine out there for decent prices, I think it's harder for these vineyards, who were putting out decent wines at astronomical prices to survive in the market we are in today. Now, don't get me wrong, I do understand, vineyards, wine-bars and restaurants, needing to make money in the market we are in today, but what I love about what's happening in wine today, is the fact that the juice has to measure up. In the past, in most vintages, the winery just had to base their pricing on the name of their enterprise and place of origin if they were successful in the past. While there are still some who have that clout, many have been forced to either lower their pricing or actually stand behind their product, sales have shown that there is no longer a choice in the matter.

So let's get down to brass tax in the elite society of the wine industry, we have the royalty, France and Italy. And I must confess I love wines from the old country, for the simple fact that from the time of wines being produced in those areas all the way up till the last 10 years, wines have for the most part sat apart from most wines all over the world. I mean there are other places who have very old vines such as, Spain, Chile, Argentina and parts of Australia, but the consistency of great wines coming from these places were at a minimum. Then after 10 years of the places, considered new world wine producers, stepping up their game, from wine making to distribution of brands throughout the world, we have the collapse of the economy. You may ask how does the collapse of the market effect the wine industry, well in my opinion it nullified it. The collapse of the market allowed Chile and many places previously mentioned in this piece, to showcase that their wines not only rival, but in many cases, surpass the "Old World Wines" at a lower price to your wallet. With these changes the category of good wines has more than doubled, and those brand driven wines who may have made great wines in the past, but make only decent to good wines now, have to reconsider their pricing structures.

Now, don't get me wrong, I will still fork out cash for a great wine, but now as a consumer, I have a choice of paying more for a wine that is double the price of a bottle outside of the old country branded juice, and is equal in taste, but far less in pricing. Knowledge is the key to picking out good to great wines, some brands are not as strong as they once were, so in essence, the lines of class in the wine industry have, in the past, been based on have become blurred. I suggest you as a consumer, to initially drink wines from all over, not just the so called upper "echelon," then remember the wines and where they come from. When you've found a few wines that tickled your taste buds, do your own research, and if that's too big of a task, or you don't have the time in your busy schedule, continue to read blogs and literature like this, let us show you the way. Sorry for the soap box, just had some stuff on my chest, till next time, enjoy wine, food, pleasant company and life, Salut.

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