Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Vintage Guides

The other day I received a gift from my bank in the form of a 2007 pocket diary. As usual the introductory pages are packed with all sorts of information including International holidays, dialling codes, maps and travel tips. This year however, they have added a wine vintage chart (albeit only for French wine regions).

Of course every wine drinker will understand the importance of a vintage and how it can influence quality, but in some cases I think that too little information can be a very dangerous thing. However well intentioned, the level of detail is always going to be very limited, and therefore prone to some misleading generalisations. For example, it is simply impossible to claim that every wine from Bordeaux, Alsace or whatever region, in a given vintage is outstanding, average or even poor. There will always be exceptions........

I understand of course, that such a chart is only intended as a guide, but it is a shame to think that some perfectly good wines might be overlooked just because a tiny chart only gives the vintage two stars. (In a similar way journalists have been known to unwittingly write off an entire vintage at the stroke of a pen).

In addition to this comes what I call "the honesty factor". I recently remarked upon a similar vintage chart compiled for Spanish wines - nearly every wine from every region was classified as good, very good or exceptional (not one poor wine in sight!) I will leave you to draw your own conclusions from this.........

Another installment from the McCarthy's soapbox series

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