Drink Wine for Intellectual Taste Not Alcohol Levels

At its core, though, the debate is about the philosophical purpose of fine wine. Should oenologists try to make beverages that are merely delicious? Or should the ideal be something more profound and intellectually stimulating? Are the best wines the equivalent of Hollywood blockbusters or art-house films? And who gets to decide?

In the early 2000s, he recalls, he drank a syrah from the Rhone Valley in France with another sommelier. Like other Rhone wines, it impressed him less with its fruit flavor than with its hints at things that couldn’t possibly be in the wine: roasted meat, freshly turned soil. He liked how the wine felt in his mouth, crisp rather than weighty, and how the wine evolved as he drank it, one sip after the next. These, he knew, were hallmarks of bottlings from the finest regions of Europe. When he wondered aloud why similar wines weren’t made in California, the other sommelier said it simply wasn’t possible.

One of the best articles that I have read on the NYTimes pertaining to the Parker influenced American palate of wines. What's your flavor? I'm all for the unique flavors of each grape harvest from a specific field but once again, at what cost?

The Bullseye on a Good Wine isn't it's Cost

I went to a friend's dinner party and as always, personal taste and manners have always prevented me from showing up empty handed. So, off to the local wine store I went. Upon entering, lost in a sea of labels, I asked for a pair of great $25 bottles of wine thinking that sum would quanitfy my being but also provide an adequate pairing. Yea I know what you're thinking. As if I could have told you the difference between them and a $5 bottle I was just going to get taken by the owner. But, just because I couldn't taste the difference, there could have been that one wino that would have been judging / eye glaring at the labels I showed up with.

Essentitally, I didn't want to feel cheap, nor look cheap. I entered the party holding my head mid-level knowing that I went half the distance towards a good bottle and contributed to the drinks' table. Then I stumble onto this Slate article back from 2011.

There are plenty of reasons to go back to our 1990s habits, and to start using 15 bucks to buy four or five bottles instead of just one. Ernest Gallo, who, along with his brother Julio, popularized wine among the American masses, understood the psychology of wine better than anyone. He used to pour two glasses of wine for potential buyers, telling them that one sold for 5 cents, and the other for 10. According to Gallo, his guinea pigs invariably chose the more expensive option. What they didn’t know was that the two wines were exactly the same. Researchers have recently reproduced Gallo’s results, proving that our appreciation of a wine depends on how much we think it costs. If you can break yourself of this psychological quirk—or have your spouse lie to you about the cost of your wine—you’ll save a small fortune.

If hints of cassis, subtle earthiness, and jammy notes don’t interest you, you are not a lesser person. Wine is not art. There’s no reason to believe that aligning your tastes with those of a self-appointed elite will enrich your life, or make you more insightful or sensitive. If wine critics want to spend lavishly on the wine they like, that’s great. Leave them to their fun. Be grateful that you can gain just as much pleasure, if not more, without bankrupting yourself.

Hello $3 bottles!!! Now I know why my crashpad consistently stocks Charles Shaw! ^_^