Peek a Boo… I see you!

Have you noticed lately that some wineries no longer print the varietal breakdown on their labels?  Rumor has it that the consumer, you and I alike, judge wines by the grapes themselves and not by the most important quality – taste.  It’s not that a certain grape is bad but more of a misconception that a particular varietal is just not our style.

Consider the following:
  • Bonarda grape. Assumed to be fruity and flabby (no structure). Nope, not true. It’s not that fruity.
  • Merlot. Don’t even make that face.  You just haven’t found the right kind yet.
  • Petite Sirah. Petite means small, as in grape size. That’s it. Taste is bold, fuzzy, thick. Delish.

So when I met with a winemaker and he told me that once he stopped printing the varietal breakdown on his labels his sales increased, I got to thinking. Yes, I know.  I taste wine all day, don’t I do anything else?  Well, I also think about wine, read about wine and dream about wine. But I digress…

His statement kicked my wine brain into gear and I realized something very interesting: there are many producers who do not print the grape varietal breakdown on their labels.

The truth of the matter is this:  A blended wine uses more than one grape and captures the tastiest parts of each grape, which then produces a great bottle of wine.  And that’s what we really want anyway, right?

Sokol Blosser “Evolution”
Home Grown Family Harvest Red 2008
Alma Negra 2006
Cinnabar Mercury Rising 2008
Orin Swift The Prisoner 2009

Join us Friday, June 24th from 4-7pm
to discover, taste and rate these wines for yourself. They’re all great grapes. (say that five times fast).

Let’s stop playing hide-and-seek and start enjoying!

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  1. Do you think there are grape varietals that bring their own special characteristics to a wine or are they all common enough that the distillation and ageing processes mask over any uniqueness the grapes may have. As for my own means of wine selection, I tend to look for specific geographic regions if picking blindly (without tasting). It seems to me that the geography and climate around the wineries has as much of an effect on the final product as anything else.

    • That’s the best part about wine; each grape varietal has its own character. Then, the geography and climate enhances the wine as far as acidity, earthy and minerality notes. The winemaker is the final element that decides how they want to present the wine: from how the grape is grown to how the wine is fermented. Every decision made by the winemaker definitely makes a huge difference in the end product.

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