Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Blanding" Just A Matter of Taste?

Last week, my long-time colleague Dan Berger expressed the opinion that American wines are undergoing a "blanding" in which varietal fruit flavors are getting fainter and fainter. Dan thinks that's a bad thing.

Over the past several months, I've used SavvyTaste (get the Facebook App here) to share quite a few wines that I thought lacked fruit. Among those wines were Charles Shaw (Two Buck Chuck), Oak Leaf Vineyards and almost everything else in the $3 to $4 category.

I found most those wines too bland for my taste.

For my taste.

But NOT for the millions of people who buy them. Obviously sales speak for themselves and illustrate that there is broad support for those wines.

But as we have emphasized over and over at SavvyTaste, genetic variations and many other factors influence how we experience wine individually. What is too bland, or too sweet or too-anything-else for me can likely be the perfect match for someone else. That does not make them bad wines or their fans inferior tasters.

But obviously, Dan's palate -- and mine -- are not good matches for people who like wines with faint fruit. There is a market for those wines, just like there is for bigger, more fruit-forward wines that I like.

It's all a matter of taste.

That's why SavvyTaste's goal is nor to RATE wines, but to SHARE them in order to connect people with the same taste preferences. Go ahead, get the app and give it a try.

A FINAL WORD: Interestingly, I did find the the Oak Leaf Vineyards Pinot Grigio ($2.97 at Wal-Mart) had a lot more fruit than many that cost $15 and up.

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