Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

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Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:43 pm

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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:04 pm

As much as I like Terry (and I consider him a friend), and as much as I agree with him, I am not sure how one writes such an article & uses "otiose" as if it's everyday speech. :wink:
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:11 pm

Seriously though, there was a time when I wanted to know all the stats and techniques. I was (as Terry points out) in a learning mode.

I still find the stats interesting, but that's largely because I am an engineer and I love data! How often do I make decisions about a wine based on that data...almost never.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Kelly Young » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:30 pm

I only am occasionally inclined to work backwards. Do I like it? If yes I wonder how they did it.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Mark S » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:31 pm

Huh? This coming from an importer who writes tasting notes full of verbiage in his annual catalogues?
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Kelly Young » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:35 pm

The very one:

"Catoir was the 3rd-to-last estate I visited, and this was the first truly rabidly foaming Scheu aroma of the vintage, and it’s a marvelous dry Scheurebe and a haunting dry wine of any type; sage, woodruff, cassis, sharp as kitten teeth yet the palate is juicy and minty and weirdly irresistible"
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:38 pm

Mark S wrote:Huh? This coming from an importer who writes tasting notes full of verbiage in his annual catalogues?


Overanalyze with words, not numbers I guess. :wink:
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Bill Hooper » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:55 pm

I’m the opposite. I think that people should learn more about how their wine is produced (and food, electronics, clothing, etc.) I also think that consumers have every right to know exactly what they are buying –but responsibility is also a two-way street: if you are a consumer who makes judgments about vineyard and cellar practices, you better educate yourself on the reasons for the inclusion or absence. There is a lot of misunderstanding in the wine-world because of this lack of knowledge. Passionate, ignorant people aren’t much fun.

Cheers,
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:58 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Seriously though, there was a time when I wanted to know all the stats and techniques. I was (as Terry points out) in a learning mode.

I still find the stats interesting, but that's largely because I am an engineer and I love data! How often do I make decisions about a wine based on that data...almost never.


I agree...there is a time and place for knowing the details. Although "technique" will be pretty limited when you are talking about very traditional producers who don't mess too much with the wine in the cellar. I can see people who want tons of specifics getting more from New World polished wines that are all about winemaker manipulation rather than traditional, terroir-driven wine.

I think Theise's backlash is completely called for, especially with the current wave of wine professionals hell-bent on blind tasting wines to death and geeking out to an extreme over numbers and "techniques", rather than letting the wine speak for itself and simply enjoying it. As always, there is a happy medium to be found, but I'd rather err on Theise's side if I had to choose one over the other.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Steve Slatcher » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:04 pm

Sometimes I want to know how a wine is made out of general interest. Doesn't mean I prejudge the wine.

Sugar and acidity are different. I don't need numbers, but those factors help determine how well the wine will match particular food.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:09 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:I think Theise's backlash is completely called for, especially with the current wave of wine professionals hell-bent on blind tasting wines to death and geeking out to an extreme over numbers and "techniques", rather than letting the wine speak for itself and simply enjoying it.


I am not seeing that wave. If you're referring to Parker and his changing band (excepting Schildknecht whom I have the greatest respect for) then you're dealing in an old story, not a current wave.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Kelly Young » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:41 pm

Bill Hooper wrote: Passionate, ignorant people aren’t much fun.



Really, people say I'm an absolute hoot.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Brian Gilp » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:52 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:I’m the opposite. I think that people should learn more about how their wine is produced (and food, electronics, clothing, etc.) I also think that consumers have every right to know exactly what they are buying –but responsibility is also a two-way street: if you are a consumer who makes judgments about vineyard and cellar practices, you better educate yourself on the reasons for the inclusion or absence. There is a lot of misunderstanding in the wine-world because of this lack of knowledge. Passionate, ignorant people aren’t much fun.

Cheers,
Bill


I always find the discussions on internet boards about wine making to be very amusing. Everyone of them seems to end the same way, with on one side the enlighted wine enthusiast who does not understand why anything should touch the grapes except maybe a press, maybe. On the other side are those who have more than a few fermentations under their belt and are rarely willing to say that they would never do something. There is something enlightening in that first batch of horrible, undrinkable, disgusting wine that you made from perfectly workable grapes that makes one realize that sometimes one needs, DAP, or SO2, or acid, or sugar, or maybe CuSO4O, or wood staves, or water, or just a small bit of Syrah, or ..........
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:57 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
Joy Lindholm wrote:I think Theise's backlash is completely called for, especially with the current wave of wine professionals hell-bent on blind tasting wines to death and geeking out to an extreme over numbers and "techniques", rather than letting the wine speak for itself and simply enjoying it.


I am not seeing that wave. If you're referring to Parker and his changing band (excepting Schildknecht whom I have the greatest respect for) then you're dealing in an old story, not a current wave.


No, I am referring to wine professionals (mostly floor somms) in programs like CMS, MW and others that spend a lot of time blind tasting to determine what wine it is they are tasting - guessing region, vintage, variety and assessing the qualities and determining levels of sweetness, acidity, body, tannin, use of oak, etc.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Rahsaan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:09 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:I’m the opposite. I think that people should learn more about how their wine is produced (and food, electronics, clothing, etc.)


Interesting perspective. I suppose the more educated consumer will help keep the various industries honest. And the internet makes it easier to learn about these things. But it also gives us so many other ways to spend/waste time as opposed to learning!

And even though I don't like to think that I 'waste' time, I am very much a believer in specialization of knowledge. I don't have the time or the interest to learn about various things (e.g. how electronics work) and am happy that someone else is toiling away on it so that I can spend my time doing other things.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Brian K Miller » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:21 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:I always find the discussions on internet boards about wine making to be very amusing. Everyone of them seems to end the same way, with on one side the enlighted wine enthusiast who does not understand why anything should touch the grapes except maybe a press, maybe. On the other side are those who have more than a few fermentations under their belt and are rarely willing to say that they would never do something. There is something enlightening in that first batch of horrible, undrinkable, disgusting wine that you made from perfectly workable grapes that makes one realize that sometimes one needs, DAP, or SO2, or acid, or sugar, or maybe CuSO4O, or wood staves, or water, or just a small bit of Syrah, or ..........


Of course, yet as these evil souls fall further under the influence of the Dark Lords of Wine Marketing, pretty soon they are working for Bronco Wines in Manteca (or somewhere...not picking on Manteca) and insisting that $2.49 manipulated plonk is BETTER THAN the purist stuff. And I guess it is, in the sense of selling three million cases. :mrgreen:
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Jim Grow » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:22 pm

I am a biologist not an engineer but still like to have lots of data on the label, especially with white wine. I really liked when Z-H began putting R.S. indices (1-5) on their labels so I could judge which of their many bottlings to buy and serve with what food. Residual sugar in Alsace whites is all over the map so all I can go on is past experience with known producers. Chateau St. Jean's Rieslings taught me what residual sugar levels I prefer with what total aciditys but other than their TBA and BA style wines, I doubt that they still put such info on their labels. Hey, if you don't need or want the info. just ignore it.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:27 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:Of course, yet as these evil souls fall further under the influence of the Dark Lords of Wine Marketing, pretty soon they are working for Bronco Wines in Manteca (or somewhere...not picking on Manteca) and insisting that $2.49 manipulated plonk is BETTER THAN the purist stuff. And I guess it is, in the sense of selling three million cases. :mrgreen:


$2.49 manipulated plonk IS better than some of the purist stuff. I've had some pretty undrinkable swill in the guise of high geekery.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby JC (NC) » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:53 pm

"otiose" stood out to me too.
One problem with blind tastings is that sometimes the blockbuster wine stands out for its power and presence but is not a good companion at the dinner table. I enjoy tastings where you can try two or more wines with different cheeses or hors d'oeuvres, etc. and see what combinations enhance both food and wine.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:37 pm

I think a lot of folks are missing the point. It's not about not having all the details or information available...it's about that stuff getting in the way of appreciating the wine in and of itself. When you go out to a really nice restaurant, do you grill the server and demand a 20 step explanation of how each individual item was prepped in every dish you are served? That stuff might be cool and interesting to some people, but you go out to eat to enjoy the food, not for a culinary school lesson. It can be very helpful to know some things about how a wine is produced, but if all that gets in the way (or causes you to make pre-conceived judgments) of tasting, enjoying and "listening" to the wine, then you might was well just be reading a wine textbook. There is a time and place for information, just as there is a time and place for just sitting and enjoying wine without having to overthink it.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:07 pm

Joy,

No offense to you or Terry, but there is no right way to enjoy wine.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:56 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Joy,

No offense to you or Terry, but there is no right way to enjoy wine.


I struggle to see how anything the article puts forth, or anything we are discussing, is proclaiming the "right" way or formula for enjoying wine. The whole point is just enjoy the wine! Perhaps the consumer is less likely to get trapped in the evaluating mindset all the time, but that often isn't the case for people in a wine-related profession. They spend so much time trying to pick apart every wine they encounter that they often forget to just drink and enjoy it! As he says, "...like all objects of beauty, wine is more than the sum of its parts."
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby Brian Gilp » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:04 am

Joy Lindholm wrote:I think a lot of folks are missing the point. It's not about not having all the details or information available...it's about that stuff getting in the way of appreciating the wine in and of itself. When you go out to a really nice restaurant, do you grill the server and demand a 20 step explanation of how each individual item was prepped in every dish you are served? That stuff might be cool and interesting to some people, but you go out to eat to enjoy the food, not for a culinary school lesson. It can be very helpful to know some things about how a wine is produced, but if all that gets in the way (or causes you to make pre-conceived judgments) of tasting, enjoying and "listening" to the wine, then you might was well just be reading a wine textbook. There is a time and place for information, just as there is a time and place for just sitting and enjoying wine without having to overthink it.


To be honest, yes I do often ask a lot of questions about the source of product, other ingredients, and cooking methods. Many times I end up in the kitchen talking to the chef. I don't do this at my local burger joint but I do this at places that make me think about what I am eating. I find information enhances my experience not lessens it. I find the same to exist with wine. Knowing more enhances my enjoyment as I am better able to connect what I like about a wine with the reasons why.
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Re: Terry Theise: Don't Overanalyze Your Wine. Enjoy It.

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:34 am

Joy - even your own statement about getting trapped in the evaluating mindset strongly implies it's the wrong way to enjoy wine. Once a consumer plops down $20 for their bottle of wine it is up to them to choose how to enjoy it. Wine is indeed a beverage of pleasure, and if getting all analytical gives someone pleasure then the wine has done its job.
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