I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Wine
I do not like them in a moat, I would not eat them with a goat…..
Those who have been reading me know from my articles that I like all sorts of wines from all sorts of places but allow me one brief article to vent about something that I do not like. I do not like natural wines. Shame on me for throwing shade on a trendy new thing but after trying at least a dozen times I just shake my head.
Winemakers have spent a thousand years developing the perfect yeasts so valued that some wineries keep theirs under lock and key, much like Saki makers who protect their defining Koji rice. Suddenly, it becomes trendy to mimic the Ancients and put grapes in a clay amphora, bury it and let the wild yeasts on the grapes skins go wild without filtering or fining. Are we so bored of drinking the tremendous wines of today?
As a mathematician and scientist, I love a good experiment as much as the next guy but I would not say, “Hey, let’s try leaving the stems and pits in the wine for a little extra bitter flavour and crunchiness!” Rogue yeasts on grape skins are unpredictable and sometimes the worst of them win out which is why only predictable yeasts are used in the best wines.
I recently bought a natural wine made with Sauvignon Blanc and shared it with relatives who I know love that particular varietal. It was cloudy, unfiltered and funky which is definitely not what they were looking for yet this wine was $30+ and rated 95 points by a top wine mag.
I will probably get some emails on this but I leave you with a warning of the Ancients when it comes to the natural wine trend: caveat emptor.