Complex American Wine

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Eric Asimov has an interesting article in the NY Times about affordable but interesting American wine. He says there is more variety in Europe:

"Good bottles galore come from Italy and France, Spain and other historic Old World wine-producing regions. It's far more difficult to find inexpensive wines of real interest from the United States."

And then wonders why it is even harder to find quality inexpensive American reds:

"Why are interesting inexpensive reds harder to find? I don't honestly know. I can speculate that the public has embraced a greater stylistic range for whites than for reds, which accounts for the many crisp, lively whites available. Reds are still mimicking the expensive wines."

This whole discussion ties into what we will eventually be trying to do here. The reds are not out there because they are too expensive to make, because the "market" and wine press tell people what is good (California Cabernet baby!), and because they are not commercially viable in a purely profit driven business environment (i.e. the U.S.). When people say they are drinking good red wine under $15 or especially under $10 a bottle - they usually aren't. With red you need quality fruit, an aging period (usually in wood of some sort), etc. etc. that immediately brings the price point up (this is why you find so many awful ideas - like oak chips or worse - the pursuit of a an inexpensive quality red).

With whites you can go straight from stainless to the bottle and still make terrific wines. But with the American market dynamics of immediate profitability and selling to the whole country and selling more bottles every year, etc. etc. there is a lack of incubation process for small interesting wines. Not that they don't exist - I am sure they do and I believe they will be a growing phenomenon across the country. But at the moment there probably is much more variety here on this side of the pond, and soon we will be making some of it available to you.

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