Monday, June 24, 2013

Beware The Hype

Summertime is slump time for wine sales as hot weather drives palates to ice cold beer and refreshing cocktails, like Watershed Four Peel & Tonic. Combine sluggish demand with ageing wine inventory and new vintages on their way, and you've got a trifecta of conditions that make for delicious buying opportunities, the likes of which you've been reading about here recently.

Well, the same trifecta also brings with it an awful lot of pushing of whatever happens to be occupying precious warehouse space for distributors, not all of which is worth your hard-earned money - at any price.  Below are two examples of wines which are getting a lot of marketing effort in the local market here.  Now that I've fallen for the hype, let me save you the trouble.

The Italian on the left has been marked down to $9 from $12.  Its only success is in hiding the 12.5% alcohol in what is otherwise a watered down version of a wine.  I'll take my water from the tap and spend my $9 on a bottle of Domaine Laroque, thank you very much.  The Bordeaux blanc on the right was marked down to $10 from $25 - and I can see why.  Again, it isn't worth it's reduced price, either.  Perhaps its age has put it over the hill, but my impression is that it never had any likeable fruit to speak of to begin with.

I'm not trying to pick on these two wines specifically (though they do make easy targets), rather offer the suggestion that deals, though abound right now, are not always what they appear to be.

More on what you should keep an eye out for in the days and weeks ahead.  In the meantime, life's too short to drink crap wine.


  1. Where is the hype? You just may not like Soave but the alcohol content in the Fattori Runcaris, as originally issued by the winemaker, is 12.5%. Indeed, most Soave clocks in around 12.5%. It isn't a watered-down version of the wine. It's just a light wine, and at the price, a pretty good value.

  2. Thanks for chiming in, UTI. I agree with everything you said. Soave can be a lovely, light wine, reflective of Garganega's fresh acidity and minerality, Chardonnay's plumpness, and Trebbiano's grip. I like Soave just fine, especially the Classicos.

    The Runcaris, however, is just, well, light. My comments aren't critical on account of alcohol content at all - heck, some Vinho Verdes pack a whallop of flavor at around 9%. It just that no wine should taste watery.

  3. AnonymousJuly 03, 2013

    Gawd, got to love an honest vinophile who pans a wine every once and a while...we need more of this. Thanks from all consumers...



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