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Did you come here for wine or a martini?

May 24, 2010

Are you serving me wine...or a martini???

It’s my day off (ish) today and I came across some recent wine articles as I laid in the sun and enjoyed a mimosa. Those of you NOT in the industry can just refrain from judging: I worked all weekend while you enjoyed the sun.

Regardless. Is wine the next French martini? The typical bar uses what for this martini? 45 proof vodka with simple syrup and carbonated mixers and a grand marnier floater? But what about the “new” fad with California wines being sooo alcoholic that you find yourself tired and thirsty (for water) after one glass? Should I ask for a glass of Californian cab next time I go to my favorite bar, Raso’s in Medford, and expect the same buzz? I feel something been lost in translation from how wine OUGHT to be enjoyed and how it’s consumed by today’s new drinker.

A customer came into Andover Liquors recently and poked around our Germany section, finding several favorites. After just briefly chatting with her and seeing what types of wine she enjoys, this particular customer expressed her dissatisfaction with California’s celebrated, overly alcoholic wines and mentioned Robert Parker might be to blame. Upon further research, this woman was 100% correct. Allegedly, Parker praised California’s ability to utilitze their exuberant sun exposure and create buxom, rich chewy wines boasting well beyond the usual 14% alcohol territory that consumers are used to seeing. Constant sun, angry wild fires and the pressure to be current MAY have done Cali in for me.

Wines containing 14.5% alcohol (please don’t forget that vineyards can stretch the truth about their wine’s alcoholic content by 1.5% to keep under a nasty alcohol tax) have been totted as the new fad in wine consumption in past years, but I am going to cry foul. Aaaaand I’m not the only one! Customers specifically ASK for wines with low alcohol content and my guess would be this: They actually want to enjoy their wine with dinner and not be a drunk mess. When I drink martinis, I can hang with the best of ’em, but wine is so different to me. I want to talk about it, I want to think about what happened during the vintage and I REALLY want to taste the level of experise that went into crafting what I”m swirling around in my crappy Kohl’s wine glass. (Pompous and penniless at the moment :c ) If I wanted a highly alcoholic drink, I’d buy one. But it’s Tuesday night, people, NOT Friday.

Can I have something red and less than 12.5% please?… California?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Catie permalink
    May 24, 2010 5:29 pm

    Hear! Hear! Couldn’t agree with you more, and I can’t believe I’m saying that! I once was in love with a certain “peachy” zin from a certain Robles area (ahem). I remember buying it once and the alcohol was almost 16%! Good God! I didn’t even have to uncork it to smell the alcohol! The first glass was great, but I don’t remember much after that. Recently, I was introduced to a chardonny/savignon blanc blend (I know, way different from a zin) with only 11.5% and I thorougly enjoyed it. Maybe it’s my age (gasp!) or maybe I’m just becoming more knowledgeable about wine, but you hit the nail baby! And……..there is nothing wrong with drinking a mimosa on a Monday!! Go for it!!

  2. daviduffy permalink
    May 25, 2010 9:12 pm

    Pino Noir doesn’t do it for you?

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