Does size really matter?
Many are the pompous who sneer down their beaks at any wine originating from producers with a capacity over a certain size. Those fools are missing out on account of ill-conceived notions that smaller is better. Don't be one of those fools.
Tonight's wine is a reminder of this important lesson. It's a wine probably often overlooked by wine geeks, no thanks to its lineage. You see, Frei Brothers is a Gallo brand. Yes, Gallo, the largest wine company in the country according to Wikipedia, and the corporation generating a quarter of wine sales in the US. But of all the things it is, overlooked is one thing this wine should not be.
Don't misunderstand affinities here - family-run businesses deserve championing at every turn. But to recognize quality and value only under a production ceiling is not only unfair, but shortsighted. Besides, who's to say that today's Albeno Munari isn't tomorrow's Chateau St. Michelle?
At the end of the day (and this is not a political commentary) the sum of a corporation's parts is only a function of its peoples' whole. Gallo's (and Constellation's and Diageo's) employees do not don armored black capes and intimidating conical Sith helmets before work each day. They have aspirations and constraints and kids and mortgages and jerk bosses, just like we all do, and just like small winery operators do.
No worries, though. People who can't get past the idea that quality and drinking pleasure can't be delivered above some arbitrary production level will be okay. They'll be lighter in the wallet by a significant factor, but otherwise they'll be okay.
The wine that inspired this rant will will be reviewed in an upcoming article.