What’s New is Old Again
By Gary Parker, Owner
The WineSellar & Brasserie
The world of wine has gone though some significant changes in the last few decades. Starting in the 1980’s, with the wider use of the Internet, information about how to best grow winemaking grapes and how to make excellent wine was easily accessible to producers. Many have taken full advantage, and have increased the quality of the wines they produce.
In addition to winemakers having access to all this technical data, wine critics and wine magazines became highly influential with their ratings of wines that were on the market. These ratings were impactful in a number of different areas. First, the wines that were rated extremely well, getting awarded 90 points or more, would sell out quickly. And typically, due to the supply and demand theory, the next vintage of that wine would see an increase in the base price.
Both the two foremost wine critics of that time rated dense, extracted wines higher than smooth, elegant wines. Of course, many producers wanted the higher ratings, and began to let their grapes sit on the vines longer, to gain more sugar, density and alcohol.
In Italy, where they have made smooth, elegant wines (for the most part) that were purposely designed to go with food, a good number of producers went the high extraction route, bending traditions in search of reaching a wider market and higher prices.
In observing current trends, many Italian wine producers have decided to dial back to their “modern” winemaking styles to return to the more traditional wines of yester-decade. It seems there was some backlash by the Italian people themselves, who found the highly extracted wines not complementary to their food.
A recent, extended excursion to various wine regions in Italy revealed some but not all of Italian winemakers are trending back to their original winemaking methods, and it seems the local people are sighing with a bit of relief. For them, a wine that excels with food is much more satisfying to them than an extracted, concentrated, intense wine bomb.
Which is your style? Not sure? Learn more by tasting through a good selection of Italian wines. Go to www.winesellar.com and check out “Upcoming Events” for more information.