Good Reads Wednesday

by Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

jeff-smEvery Wednesday I post my recommendations of the best of last week’s postings concerning wine, whether blogs or news. I list them in the order I read them, so you shouldn’t infer anything about the order in which I list these posts.

The Threat and Shame of Natural Wine

Fermentation

http://fermentation.typepad.com/fermentation/2012/05/threat-shame-natural-wine.html

A polemic against the Natural Wine movement, with which I pretty much entirely agree.

Uncomfortable Truths: The Wine Edition

Fermentation

http://fermentation.typepad.com/fermentation/2012/05/s-1.html

Wark’s “truths” about various things in the wine business. I agree with some (“Natural Wine Isn’t Natural” and “Ratings Sell Lots of Wine”), but others I can’t buy into (“Experts are the best source of Wine Information and Recommendations” and “Expensive Wine is Almost Always Better”).

2010 vintage, revisited

Steve Heimoff

http://www.steveheimoff.com/index.php/2012/05/16/2010-vintage-revisited/

It’s been a truism that California vintages really don’t matter that much. It’s a truism with which I largely agree, since the main issue in grapegrowing is whether the grapes get ripe, and whether they have rot. Most years in California are fairly warm, so these two issues aren’t problematic. But 2010 was the exception that proves the rule according to Heimoff, who finds his tastings of the vintage less than stellar. And he’s certainly correct. And 2011 is probably at least as problematic if not more so. So while vintages certainly matter less here than in Europe, we can’t dismiss them altogether.

Assyrtiko

Two Dogs, a Flamingo and a Bottle of Wine

http://dogswine.blogspot.com/2012/05/assyrtiko.html

This post caught my eye since it focuses on a Greek wine that I’ve tried several times (not this particular one, but Assyrtikos nonetheless). This blogger liked the wine, but I would have to say my experience with these wines, and Greek wines in general, has left a great deal to be desired. Maybe it’s just a stylistic preference, but I generally find these wines to be thin and uninteresting.

Languedoc Paradox: How a Big French Region is Trying to Show its Identity

Remy Charest

http://palatepress.com/2012/05/wine/languedoc-paradox-how-a-big-french-region-is-trying-to-show-its-identity/

This is truly illuminating article on the Languedoc, a region known historically for producing huge volumes of quaffing wine. But the region is trying to elevate its image and quality. Unfortunately, like so many wine regions around the work, the differences in climate and soil from one part of the region to the other make it difficult to generalize about the wines.

Why Rating Wine Is Bad Science

1 Wine Dude

http://www.1winedude.com/why-wine-rating-is-bad-science/#more-7100

I couldn’t agree more with this post, which rightly highlights the impossibility of any objectively quantifiable way to rate wine quality.

Could science kill the magic of wine?

jamie goode’s wine blog

http://www.wineanorak.com/wineblog/uncategorized/could-science-kill-the-magic-of-wine

I have a real problem with this post. Everything that we are is a product of nature, and science is how we try to understand it. If it’s true (as it certainly is) that our enjoyment of wine is a result of factors in our makeup that have evolved over millions of years, so be it. To pretend otherwise is to substitute a reassuring mythology for anything approximating the way things really are.

For keeping up to date with what’s going on the in wine world, the best all around source is http://winebusiness.com.

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