Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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  Editorial Issue 29, April 2005   
Prejudices About WinePrejudices About Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 28, March 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 30, May 2005

Prejudices About Wine


 Wine - and this is something the many connoisseurs of the world know very well - is an extremely rich beverage, capable of offering countless interpretations according to the many factors regulating its production. Also thanks to its millenary history and to the wide spreading of the vine in the world, every country is capable of producing wines with unique characteristics - either good or bad - while offering to the consumers different emotions and sensations according to the environmental and meteorological conditions of the year. This is also what happens - in general terms - when the emulation of other countries' styles is avoided therefore offering in the glass of wine lovers the culture, tradition and richness of every country. After all, this is also what makes wine so interesting and amazing: no matter the country you go, the wine is always different. This is also what we all wine lovers wish ourselves, in the hope to avoid a future where the production of wine is made with the very same “model” and having the same taste, as well as avoiding a future made of wines all the same, all similar to each other.

 Nowadays wine subject is very common, also supported by the fact that around this beverage has been developed a wide popular interest - and therefore important commercial and economic interests - and it is considered as a “trendy” subject and, luckily, the attention of most of the consumers is paid on quality instead of quantity. The many labels today available in the market - from wine shops to malls - confirms the commercial importance of wine and if ten years ago malls dedicated a modest area to wine, today are being dedicated whole sectors while offering their customers a wide selection. This is also the sign of an important change, because no one - at least up to ten years ago - would have never believed to see in malls' shelves renowned, expensive and valuable labels: today this is seen as a normal fact, one of the many ways to reach consumers while achieving the ultimate goal of production: selling and therefore profits.


 

 However in the world of wine - although it would be better to say in the world of wine consumers - there are many prejudices and behaviors of strong skepticism towards some wines and some categories of wines. This kind of behaviors are very hard to change among consumers, most of the times - it should not be forgotten - are caused by efficient advertising and marketing campaigns which strongly influence the choices of consumers, or at least a good part of them. It should be recognized these prejudices are frequently justified by evident reasons and therefore objectively agreeable, whereas there are others which are caused by disputable conditions of the past and, despite things are changed for good, prejudices and skepticism towards some products do not change at all or however are hard to change.

 For example, everyone can recall the endless debate which goes on since many years about Champagne and Italian sparkling wine. A competition which is going on since tens of years and which is mainly based on some conditions of the past, which are now so strong, even though things have changed. Italian sparkling wine has evolved and its quality is today very high, nevertheless there are many consumers out there who disregard any kind of bubbles with the exception of the ones coming from the noble Champagne. Of course Champagne is a unique and extraordinary wine - who can deny this - but the same can be said today about other sparkling wines, including Italian Spumante. However the prejudices and skepticism towards this kind of products is pretty high and many consumers keep on supporting these ideas - tens of years old - even without having never tried with their nose and with their mouth the radical change which has developed in the course of the years. Even worse, many make use of prejudices because they heard someone saying what it is better and what it is worse, without having checked this out themselves.

 There also are prejudices caused by bad experiences and that are implicitly applied to any similar and future experiences. There are many who after having tasted a mediocre or bad quality wine, believe that all the wines belonging to the same category have the same quality and therefore are scrupulously avoided. There are people - and we do certainly not have the presumption of criticizing their tastes and preferences - that after having tasted a bad quality white wine, reject the idea of tasting any other white wine just for the fact it belongs to the category offended by a bad quality exemplar. Most of the times these people end up considering red wines only and they usually believe they are the only and worth representatives of the beverage of Bacchus. Whoever considers himself or herself a wine lover knows there are many white wines out there capable of shadowing a pretty wide group of red wines. The same can be said for any other wine style, of course.

 Things are of course different in case someone does not like a particular wine just because it does not meet his or her taste: this is something no one can criticize or object. What can be criticized are the behaviors in which are being indiscriminately used ridiculous prejudices and skepticism of past times. What makes wine so interesting is also this: the possibility of having a wide selection of products which are waiting to be evaluated and each of them capable of denying or confirming any prejudice or skepticism. The conclusion is however the same, so similar to what happens in human relationships as well. There are people who are capable of listening even in case they do not agree on others' ideas and have the will to understand, others that, not only are incapable of listening, but keep on talking arrogantly while not allowing others to express their opinions. The same is true for wine. If we allow it to talk and to express itself by means of its aromas and tastes, we will understand it fully and we will benefit from its history and culture. If we do not even allow it to talk, we cannot pretend to understand. The fault is not of that wine we denied our attention because of a prejudice which makes poor the one who allows it to make him or her blind.

 



   Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 29, April 2005   
Prejudices About WinePrejudices About Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 28, March 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 30, May 2005

MailBox


 In this column are published our reader's mail. If you have any comment or any question or just want to express your opinion about wine, send your letters to our editorial or fill in the form available at our site.

 

In many bottles of sparkling wines and Champagne, the disgorgement date and the vintage is never stated. Are these information included in the codes usually found in the labels? Thank you for your reply and congratulations for the site.
Giuseppe Scattolin -- Padua (Italy)
The disgorgement date and the vintage in classic method sparkling wines - such as Champagne and Franciacorta - are sometimes omitted in labels. Whereas the disgorgement date should be written in the label - in the sake of clearly stating the characteristics of a wine and not because it is mandatory - the exact vintage of a sparkling wine is not always determinable. The base wine used for the production of classic method sparkling wines and defined as sans année or non vintage, is generally obtained by blending many wines produced in different years, therefore it would not make much sense talking about a specific vintage. Concerning the codes usually written in Champagne labels, we suggest you reading the article Champagne published on the issue 22, September 2004.



A friend of mine says that in extra brut and pas dosé sparkling wines, before the refermentation in bottle takes place, is being added a mixture containing yeast only. I think he is not right as with no sugar the refermentation process would not be possible and no carbon dioxide would be produced. Who is right? Congratulations for your magazine. Good job.
Luigi Fasano -- Livorno (Italy)
As you rightly observed, the refermentation in bottle for classic method sparkling wines is obtained thanks to the presence of sugar added to the mixture and, because of the effect of yeast - present in the mixture as well - it makes the refermentation possible. This mixture - called liqueur de tirage - is made with the base wine to which is added a certain quantity of sugar and selected yeast. This mixture is added to every type of sparkling wine - no matter the production method - and no matter the sweetness of the finished product; it is therefore used for the production of extra brut and pas dosé as well. The sugar added to this mixture will start the refermentation in bottle with the result of producing carbon dioxide - responsible for effervescence - as well as alcohol. To know more about sparkling wines production, we suggest you reading the article Production of Sparkling Wines published on the issue 22, September 2004.



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  Editorial Issue 29, April 2005   
Prejudices About WinePrejudices About Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
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