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Wining and Dining with Jim White April 3, 2011

Posted by jwdineline in Home, Savor The Flavor with Jim White.
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Red or White?  No Problem, just add food coloring!?!

There is a famous story about about a group of “expert” wine writers attending France’s most storied tasting affair:  The Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux.  The new vintages from both sides of the Garonne and Dordogne are presented to journalists and the trade every April in and around Bordeaux.  The price of wine futures is determined by their accolades.  One year a panel of scholarly wine writers was assembled to do a comparison tasting of a cheap wine versus one of the legendary first growths.  The premise:  to chronicle, and perhaps, justify the difference in price between the two extremes.  As you might imagine, the wine experts trashed the lesser wine and waxed eloquently about the wine of renown.  There was one small problem.  The wines had been switched.  The great wine was poured into the cheaper wine bottle.  The modest wine posed as the superstar vintage and met with exultant high praise.  There was much embarrassment in the wine writing world over this incident.  And, much brushing up on actual tasting occurred, instead of just relying on a “brand name” label.  We thought you would find a similar series of circumstances interesting as presented in this guest column from Snooth by Gregory Dal Piaz.

What We’ve Been Reading

More sanity from the blogosphere

By Gregory Dal Piaz

I’ve been trying my hardest to convince people that lots of wine experts are living in a fantasy world. Now that’s not a universal indictment, but the truth is many of us in the wine business don’t have a clue when it comes to what we’re looking at when faced with a glass of wine.

That is actually true as witnessed by the brilliant if subversive experiment conducted by Frederic Brochet, of the University of Bordeaux, where wine experts were presented with two glasses of wine, one white and one red, and described them perfectly, as white and red wine. Problem was, the red wine was actually the white wine with food coloring added!  (See more on this story below)

The Money of Color

Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the color of a wine is simply not very important to me, and it looks like more and more wine writers agree! Are we witnessing the last gasp of opacity being considered a positive attribute for red wines. Are you 15 points on that color? I am 100 points on this article by Evan Dawson that was recently featured in Palate Press. “The Color of Money” is a great read, and a rundown on what we’re all talking about when it comes to color.

(more…)

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