When should you ask for help about wine?

So much is written about wine every week that a casual observer would surely conclude the product must be confusing.

Up to the mid-20th Century using a wine merchant made sense since they sorted out the good tastes from the many marred by microbial infections, oxidation or worse. Even into the 1980s taking advice was helpful. Now when even wine casks provide a decent drink it is time to move on. Who then reads all the articles, books and global web sites offering advice and what are they seeking?

I’m at the end of a long career when all my mysteries about wine have been resolved. Consider then that what I know you can place on the table every night with a Glug wine as they are my essays.

The wine journalist Tony Love, In Daily Adelaide 13th May, summarised Australian Chardonnay this way, ‘Its evolution in style in Australia alone can tell us so much: from the days of being rich and buttery, blown out with over-ripe fruit and clumsy oak treatment, to more contemporary, fresher, brighter, pure expressions where the flavour profile tends towards citrus and white stone fruits with neatly balanced acidity and well-tempered fermentation and maturation in fine French oak barrels…’

This Chardonnay yarn has entered the books as fact, yet the style change was not driven by customers but by administrators. The original Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay as developed by Philip John and others was a great drink and would still sell well.

Regrettably the belief that the taste of all wines will proceed to some pre-determined end point as decided by a group that knows better now dominates thinking. I serve customers and remain impressed by their broad tastes and have learnt there is no end point.

So being guided by say the Halliday Compendium, and other authorities, makes no sense to me. A new time has arrived where customers know enough to make up their own minds which is the sensible way of letting the market decide.

To recap the views of Benjamin and myself about the taste of wine can be found in our diverse range of wines and for the big picture use the information age to become your own wine merchant as relying on experts is not the way forward.

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