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Friday, June 22, 2007

Article links

_ All about extended maceration - here's another fancy term you can drop to impress your friends.

_ Parts One and Two of Mike Steinberger's Physiology of the Wine Critic series.

Interesting bit from the article: "...if he serves the same wine in two different bottles, one labeled a cheap vin de table and the other a pricey grand cru, people invariably lavish praise on the latter and scorn the former." This is called perceptive expectation.

While I don't doubt that the best wines in the world are made from the traditional European varieties of vitis vinifera, I do think that the much maligned hybrid varietals accused of "off" or "foxy" flavors suffer from perceptive expectation. There are some bad varietals out there, and bubble gum Concord wine doesn't have much to offer unless it's a hot, hot day and you're looking for a wine that goes with ice cubes. But other native or hybrid varietals have a distinct character and make some very good wine if thought and care has gone into the growing and winemaking process. But consumers have been conditioned to expect certain qualities in their wines, and many hybrids don't match the established profile. That's where I think perceptive expectation can turn 'different' into 'bad.' Even though I plan on planting mostly vinifera, I'm a fan of many hybrid varietals when they are made well. I always revel in the experience of finding a new varietal or region as long as quality and price balance out.

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