The Great Grape Debate: How to find a premium holiday wine at a not so premium price.
E A R E A L L C R E A T U R E S O F H A B I T, relying on routines to get us through the day. Most of us are showered, dressed, and halfway to work before we’re fully awake. Our habits guide us through the day like an old friend.
is the co-owner of Metro Wines located on Charlotte Street in downtown Asheville.
It’s not very different when it comes to wine selection. Once we move beyond the Bartels & Jaymes stage, most of us stick with a small collection of grapes through much of our adult lives. We have a pretty good idea what we’re getting when we stick with what we know. We grab the trusty bottle of cabernet sauvignon from the grocery store aisle that partners easily with a pleasurable (if predictable) Tuesday night dinner. Creatures of habit get bored, however, and despite the staying power of these fan favorites, I’ll bet you’ve changed your go-to grape more than once. Over the years, Americans have moved (largely en masse) among white wines, like pinot grigio and prosecco, to merlots and malbecs, for lovers of reds. At some point we all make changes, but do you ever wonder why so many of us seem to have collectively decided to move to a particular variety, like prosecco, at roughly the same time? You can chalk it up to the multi-million dollar promotional campaigns sponsored by the wine industry.
Trends at Your Table So what’s wrong with the industry letting you know about a great new wine? The paradox is that, inevitably, the wine becomes a victim of its | December 2015
own success and you pay the price. The industry’s advertising campaigns build demand globally. The result is that everyone wants to enjoy what you thought was your new favorite wine simultaneously. To compensate for bigger demand, the industry must increase its output tenfold or more. Unfortunately, there are only so many vineyards in the best locations to grow the grapes. Demand prompts growers to begin planting the grape in less than ideal places, or to simply buy a different one, from somewhere else, to put in your favorite bottle. If your new pinot grigio tastes a bit thinner than the last time you enjoyed it, odds are that it contains a bulk blend of grapes from a region that isn’t ideal for creating that particular wine. Now you’re paying a premium price for a popular wine that doesn’t have the same flavor that made it famous in the first place. Maybe it’s time to buck trends and seek out a few new wines you love that are off the beaten path. Once you leave chardonnay and malbec behind, there’s a world of wine waiting for you. In Italy alone there are over 1,200 official grapes! And France has far more available than you might think. If you love a wine that isn’t the world’s darling, that’s okay. You’re paying for the quality of what’s in the bottle, not the price of its popularity.
Vol 5 | Ed 12 - Western North Carolina's Business Lifestyle Magazine - Featuring Clyde Hollifield