Saturday, July 16, 2011

Boston Globe: Is Napa Neurotic or What?

The Boston Globe review of An Ideal Wine has come out and it's hit the nail right on the head.

The book artfully profiles both spectrums of people trying to make wine - perfectionists on both sides of the aisle.

Those who think chemistry is the best path (the owner of Enologx, which serves more than 1,000 primarily Napa wineries) - who use chemical analysis and manipulation, the ultimate in deconstruction, of a product whose marketing stresses au natural but is anything but in the making of process - to the organic/biodynamic camp who search for the perfect New World terroir, and vineyard, all the time conscious that they will never meet the Old World standard (is that perfection or just a certain time andplace) set forth on  Don Quixote quests (although some more monetarily successful than others).

As the Globe reviewer Stephen Meuse writes:

"After a while one does begin to wonder why these tormented souls don’t retire to a plot of ground somewhere and, like so many small-scale, nonconflicted Europeans, just make the wine that makes them happy."

I think that's where I am - just enjoying the California-grown wines that are so delicious, lovely and home grown, and organically grown. Do you have to have flights of wines that are about status whether its Parker points or Vinography ratings? We have such an abundance of gorgeous wines (organically grown) and yet so few people know of them. 

I have a hard time understanding how people can enjoy drinking wine in which pesticides were poured into an ecosystem - even "a little Roundup" - and yet so many people have no idea that's what's happened. One can hardly find an organically grown wine at Safeway or even K&L. 

How can a wine be "perfect" if its based on using toxic herbicides and pesticides? chemical fertilizers? monoculture? It's time we asked more from our wine industry in California. We need a different kind of points system.

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