WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby Jenise » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:55 pm

These days I find myself actively avoiding buying wines that claim above 13.5 on the label.

A well-known Seattle email-only retailer announced last year that he was going to start a Twelve and a Half Club, which was named after the percent alcohol he would like to see all wines at or below. The program never got off the ground--too few qualifying wines he said, at least without sending out nothing riesling every month.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:21 pm

Jenise wrote:A well-known Seattle email-only retailer announced last year that he was going to start a Twelve and a Half Club, which was named after the percent alcohol he would like to see all wines at or below. The program never got off the ground--too few qualifying wines he said, at least without sending out nothing riesling every month.


What's your point... :wink:
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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby Oliver McCrum » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:55 pm

Thomas wrote:The days of premium paid for higher sugar have just about faded. The problem: these days, in CA at least, the premium is on higher concentration, which includes increased sugar by volume, but robs the grower of weight by forcing dehydration on the crop. Big issue on the Left Coast.


But effectively the wineries are forcing the growers into harvesting at previously unheard-of sugar levels, such as 28-30 Brix, and the growers are indeed asking for higher prices because the tons per acre drops. So although the levels of sugar are insanely higher than twenty years ago the principal is the same. There has been a lot of good coverage of this in the Wine Business Monthly.

Then of course the winery has to hose the wine back to allow it to finish, then they have to send it to Vinovation to reduce the alcohol...
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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby Jenise » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Oops! David, didn't mean to call riesling "nothing". That's a typo, should have read "nothing but riesling". Not that you still wouldn't think this a good idea....
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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:31 pm

Jenise, was he trying to stay with American or New World wine? There is still loads of stuff coming out of Europe (both East and West) that has the proverbial 12.5 on the label.
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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby Thomas » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:28 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:
Thomas wrote:The days of premium paid for higher sugar have just about faded. The problem: these days, in CA at least, the premium is on higher concentration, which includes increased sugar by volume, but robs the grower of weight by forcing dehydration on the crop. Big issue on the Left Coast.


But effectively the wineries are forcing the growers into harvesting at previously unheard-of sugar levels, such as 28-30 Brix, and the growers are indeed asking for higher prices because the tons per acre drops. So although the levels of sugar are insanely higher than twenty years ago the principal is the same. There has been a lot of good coverage of this in the Wine Business Monthly.

Then of course the winery has to hose the wine back to allow it to finish, then they have to send it to Vinovation to reduce the alcohol...


You are correct Oliver. What I meant to say is that the wineries are paying for higher sugar but they wind up paying less for it by volume. And as you say, then they add water, and then they lower the alcohol, and they put some stuff on the back label about nature and its finest result, blah, blah, blah. ;)
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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:18 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote: but I don't know of any conventional examples of buying dry white or red wines in the hope that they will become less acidic.

The dry white wines that I can think of with high acidity, such as Muscadet and Sancerre, are generally drunk young.

Oliver
One style that springs to mind is hunter semillon. That has quite prominent acidity at release, which does soften over time.

I'm not disputing the unchanging (or as you say virtually unchanging) acidity level, but that with age the perception of acidity changes and it can 'taste' softer.

I do agree with you that tannin change (well in reds anyway :wink: ) is often more significant to the perception of a wine.

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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby Oliver McCrum » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:11 pm

Ian,

I mentioned that: 'Oddly enough the only wine I can think of that might be an exception is old-style Hunter dry semillon, which were brutal when young.'

Good idea, though.
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Re: WARNING: Rant ahead. Pissed-off with high-alcohol wines?

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:13 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:Ian,

I mentioned that: 'Oddly enough the only wine I can think of that might be an exception is old-style Hunter dry semillon, which were brutal when young.'

Good idea, though.


It's not my fault I didn't read it... oh :oops: it is :oops: :oops:
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