traditional vs country,

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reeflections

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I think people who take a leap and venture into country wines at the commercial scale, and start treating them with the same respect, could be at the forefront of a very lucrative and venerable movement in the wine industry
I sure agree with that. A little over a year ago, I was a devout beer drinker. I'd try different commercial grape wines from cheap to moderately expensive and never found one I really liked enough to start drinking it on a regular basis. My wife, on the other hand, always enjoyed wine and never beer.

Now that I'm making my own wine from various non-grape fruits and juices, I'm hooked. Maybe it's because there is something about making your own, but I like every wine I have made better than any commercial wine I have tried. My wife, who is never afraid to be honest with me, also likes what I have been making better than her old standbys. Some of my friends that were never big wine drinkers are very happy with mine. Of course "free" is a good selling point.

I also know that I am still very new to this hobby and as I learn, I'm certain my wine will improve. Meanwhile, the commercial wines II used to try will always be the same.

I also know that if I ever quit wine making for some reason, I would be sure to check out commercial wines made with fruit other than grapes if they are on the market.

I don't disagree but those who make grape wine demand incredible quality from the grape growers or else they grow the grapes themselves. Those who make country wines tend to be less demanding about the fruit they use, perhaps because those wine makers have never considered themselves like those who make wine from grapes. How much sugar is in the strawberries we use? The raspberries? The pomegranates? Peaches? How much flavor? How much is in the grapes?
While I'm sure many grape wine makers are more demanding of the grapes they use than I am of my original source juice, I'm not sure they are all necessarily more demanding than all country wine makers. I see a lot of posts here from people that buy what they call "cheap kits" to make their grape wines. I don't know anything about cheap kits or canned grape juice but that doesn't sound any more demanding than I am with my cherries, apricots, blueberries, etc.. Always looking for something better.

I think we all have different demands for our starting juice, depending on what we have access to, can afford, or have found to have worked well for us. Most of all, if it tastes good, it is good.
 

hounddawg

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I don't disagree but those who make grape wine demand incredible quality from the grape growers or else they grow the grapes themselves. Those who make country wines tend to be less demanding about the fruit they use, perhaps because those wine makers have never considered themselves like those who make wine from grapes. How much sugar is in the strawberries we use? The raspberries? The pomegranates? Peaches? How much flavor? How much is in the grapes?
hum, i could of been more tactful, for that i apologize, with that being said, there ain't no one that works harder at going for the best of the best, that being said. come off season , yes , I am at the mercy of the concentrate company, I take extreme pride, all while trying to keep my ego outta it, i grow a lot of my fruits and berries, i spend my year raising some of the highest grade eggs that can be found, and week in week out i take eggs to all my neighbors, one stopped by today and brought me the biggest cheese cake covered in cherries, and told me all his peach trees and apple trees look to have weather the cold snap last week, in my area most all fruit trees are just leaving bloom time, i got a blueberry patch set aside for my use by a ole boy that works the oil lines, yep again eggs, i keep the best, no blood spots, the way eggs are graded is put on a flat surface the yoke to be select must have a pyramid type point on top of the yoke looked at from the side, i keep a type that lays spring, another pen that lay hot weather and another pen that are winter layers, just so i get custom raised fruits and berries, my winter layers are just A grade, thats the yoke is rounded but makes a high dome, no eggs with a flatter yoke on my place, now money cant by most of them peoples fruit, yet eggs get me treated as family,
so yes some of us country wine makers do go to as much trouble as you traditional vintners
Dawg,,,
 

Ty520

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I don't disagree but those who make grape wine demand incredible quality from the grape growers or else they grow the grapes themselves. Those who make country wines tend to be less demanding about the fruit they use, perhaps because those wine makers have never considered themselves like those who make wine from grapes. How much sugar is in the strawberries we use? The raspberries? The pomegranates? Peaches? How much flavor? How much is in the grapes?
I do think many, even most, vintners are excessively and unwarrantedly arrogant, especially in established regions such as France. The Judgement of Paris confirmed that. But prior to the judgement, everyone spit on Californian wine, and now look at them. A vintner in the Rhone valley once boasted that he can sell a horrible bottle of wine that anyone else would dump down the drain, for $4k just because of the value of the terroir and the label on the bottle. Multiple psychology studies have also shown that most experts can't even distinguish between two bottles that cost a difference in ten fold, and that perceived notions like cost, place of origin, etc - even when fictitious - can artificially influence and bias perception.

All of the principles and precision you mentioned can equally be applied to another fruit with the proper due diligence - just like mead, for example,which is working hard to gain equal footing.

The reason country wine is 'country wine' may very well be because those fruits are more easily accessible to middle class hobbyists, but I can hands down say that I have had blackberry wines as good as some of the best pinot, merlot or cab sauv I've tried.

I'd point out the rather ironic tasting guidelines for sommoliers to describe nose and palette (taken verbatim from the master court of sommoliers): citric, Apple, berry, plum, melon... every other fruit EXCEPT the actual fruit it's made from; in fact, most will argue that a wine that is jammy and actually tastes of grapes is a deficient wine. And then there's tasting and aroma notes such as: straw, mushroom, compost, meat - if ever there were descriptors that should be considered faulty...

As much as I enjoy wine and respect the craft of it's production, I cannot and will not deny the abject arrogance and manufactured elitism that surrounds the culture of wine.
 

BernardSmith

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Most definitely not a sommelier - or someone with an "educated" palate, but the point about looking for flavors in wines such as "berry" "plum", tobacco etc does not mean that the expectation that a flavor (or aroma) of ONLY apricot or plum is considered the gold standard. Flavors and aromas are incredibly complex and if a wine maker is able to produce in discernible quantities a myriad of identifiably nameable aromas and flavors from a grape varietal that is not to be dismissed. And whether in tiny quantities hints of "mushroom" or... or (and I say this as a vegetarian) "meat" are inherently faults THAT is a matter of taste and not a matter of their presence. You want every dish you eat to be appropriately sweet /salty/ fatty/sour/umami. But when one or more attributes is out of balance then that is a fault . The fault is not their presence.
 

hounddawg

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Most definitely not a sommelier - or someone with an "educated" palate, but the point about looking for flavors in wines such as "berry" "plum", tobacco etc does not mean that the expectation that a flavor (or aroma) of ONLY apricot or plum is considered the gold standard. Flavors and aromas are incredibly complex and if a wine maker is able to produce in discernible quantities a myriad of identifiably nameable aromas and flavors from a grape varietal that is not to be dismissed. And whether in tiny quantities hints of "mushroom" or... or (and I say this as a vegetarian) "meat" are inherently faults THAT is a matter of taste and not a matter of their presence. You want every dish you eat to be appropriately sweet /salty/ fatty/sour/umami. But when one or more attributes is out of balance then that is a fault . The fault is not their presence.
hum, that is a personal objective of a group, the gold standard of most people is what tastes good, I have bought very expensive wines and collectable wines and rare vintages, all of which I've poured down the drain, each is subjective to each person, yes a good part of most traditional vintners, describe most of the most desirable traits as leather, chalky, earthy, oaky, is a preference of certain people, where as most peoples gold standard is good taste, and if one surveys that the main gold standard is something that most others do not have therefore sitting snobs aside to make those to feel special about their selves, IMHO
Dawg
 

BernardSmith

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Not sure I completely agree. Strikes me that the "real" (with ironic quotes) gold standard is the price people are willing to pay for a label. I mean that quite literally: Wine collectors and others pay for labels, not delightful flavors and the label is what gives that wine a pleasurable (or a VERY) pleasurable drinking experience. That's how crooks can (literally) sell junk when they fake the labels and bottles of those wines can sell for 5 figures A True-Crime Documentary About the Con That Shook the World of Wine. If it's dressed like lamb then it must be good. If it's dressed like mutton forget it. In short, like most things in our culture we get pleasure from the taste, smell, and sound of money and that is something that "excites" the symbolic parts of our brain and not from what excites our unmediated sense of smell and taste and sight and touch and sound. Those things are kinda free and you get what you are willing and able to pay for - or so say the Captains of Industry and Economy.
 

Ty520

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Most definitely not a sommelier - or someone with an "educated" palate, but the point about looking for flavors in wines such as "berry" "plum", tobacco etc does not mean that the expectation that a flavor (or aroma) of ONLY apricot or plum is considered the gold standard. Flavors and aromas are incredibly complex and if a wine maker is able to produce in discernible quantities a myriad of identifiably nameable aromas and flavors from a grape varietal that is not to be dismissed. And whether in tiny quantities hints of "mushroom" or... or (and I say this as a vegetarian) "meat" are inherently faults THAT is a matter of taste and not a matter of their presence. You want every dish you eat to be appropriately sweet /salty/ fatty/sour/umami. But when one or more attributes is out of balance then that is a fault . The fault is not their presence.
FYI, I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing. Just trying to make some points to think about. I'm finding that commercial mead makers seem to be equally as arrogant and snotty. I guess this even applies to beer brewing - "excessive" hops and sourness were once considered faults and are now on trend... unfortunately.

The general point being, it seems that grape wine vintners in particular can get away with eschewing 'best practices' simply by declaring that they are being edgy or trendy or experimental - and people will cheer for them. They decide what is in favor at their own whim - and sometimes even to cover up mistakes.

An example: the Oxidative Wine trend around 2009.

Many Spanish wines have traditionally been oxidated - not entirely intentionally, but simply because the barrels they had on hand were old and porous and aged for extensive periods in areas with poor climate control - it thus became the tradition, and the local acquired taste, "best practices" aside. I'm glad you brought up 'umami' profiles because speaking of traditional oxidated spanish varietals, which are often described as umami, this style was traditionally referred to as "rancio,' or rancid. A french vintner - then and now - would insist that these spanish wines are $#!t.

Like all fads, many thought barrel aging was "old fashioned" and started moving to stainless steel; but on the contrary, some traditional producers began embracing the tradition with a rabid fervor and intentionally flaunting "best practice" by not only intentionally using old barrels, but also intentionally not even topping them off, and leaving tons of 'excessive' head room. While even others began applying the method to Italian and French styles.

In fact, a winery called Scholium Project defined themselves on Oxidated wines, and the founder admits that it was completely the result of an accident via negligence and laziness on his part.
 

hounddawg

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exactly , self centered ways of those that need to believe that something makes them better then others, it is sad that,,, that group need such petty things to enjoy life. on them things that feel what they can buy gives them good feelings, as long as others cant, i bet them false labels went a while being praised till the real makers caught on to someone cutting into their profit, such a pleasant thought on how pathetic the so called upper crust really are, i see what you mean, your point pleases me quite well, thank you @BernardSmith, yes, just like gold fever, i know some Germans that their vacation home is very near me, that without knowing what they were saying, while they explain how buying American trucks and taking them to Germany, of how other Germans on narrow streets had to look up to see them, yep 14 million Euro's a year,,, but still need others look up to them,, to feel good/worthy, that is a warming thought,
Dawg
 

BernardSmith

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In fact, a winery called Scholium Project defined themselves on Oxidated wines, and the founder admits that it was completely the result of an accident via negligence and laziness on his part.
Don't drink it but isn't sherry oxidized wine? and what is a sour beer but a beer that has been exposed to Brett and Ped and other spoilage bacteria. What is considered a "fault" by some today may be viewed by many, tomorrow, as a desirable trait. The question is less about flaws in wines as much as who is claiming what is a flaw and whether wines that are thus viewed as flawed are always as undesirable and unpleasant as those who dismiss them claim? Heck! Americans LOVE lagers that are so tasteless that they need to be chugged chilled... Anyone who has ever tasted "real ale" knows that beer can be enjoyed at normal room temperatures and don't need to near-freeze your mouth so that cannot in fact taste how tasteless they in fact are ... But that claim means nothing when Bud and their ilk pour $$$ into their banks as fast as folk here crack open another brewski.
 

Ty520

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Don't drink it but isn't sherry oxidized wine? and what is a sour beer but a beer that has been exposed to Brett and Ped and other spoilage bacteria. What is considered a "fault" by some today may be viewed by many, tomorrow, as a desirable trait. The question is less about flaws in wines as much as who is claiming what is a flaw and whether wines that are thus viewed as flawed are always as undesirable and unpleasant as those who dismiss them claim? Heck! Americans LOVE lagers that are so tasteless that they need to be chugged chilled... Anyone who has ever tasted "real ale" knows that beer can be enjoyed at normal room temperatures and don't need to near-freeze your mouth so that cannot in fact taste how tasteless they in fact are ... But that claim means nothing when Bud and their ilk pour $$$ into their banks as fast as folk here crack open another brewski.
But that's the point - what's "right" today is "wrong" tomorrow and what's "wrong" today might be "right" tomorrow...

... the issue lies in the fact that only 'certain' 'select' people get to dictate when those winds can change direction
 

BernardSmith

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That is debatable. I think we all decide what we enjoy. And that might be a sour mead or a wine made with Brett, a wine so sweet it peels the enamel off your teeth or a wine so dry that you can strike a match with it. It might be a fruit wine that uses no water or a fruit wine that the wine maker merely waves the fruit above the primary and calls the water suitably flavored.

The "select" might be the "influencers" of the rich and famous but I neither follow those "influencers" or those "influencers" that saturate TikToK or Youtube or other social media... That said, as social mammals of course we are "influenced" by our world. Whether that "world" is the world that is created and shared by the media we all recognize or that world is shared by a select media made up of a few Rabbinic figures limited to a very very local community of Hassidim who live in a village next door to NYC. and that said, I may not in fact "know" what I enjoy but when I stumble over it and choose to to try it and find that I love it then you are not going to be able to convince me that I am mistaken about what I like and don't like. Sure some things are an "acquired" taste unless my goal is to use what influencers like to insert myself in their universe , then what I really like may be quite distant and alien to what they like and that is not really my problem (and by "my" problem I mean anyone's problem other than the influencers'. Those old time and current "influencers" make their living by influencing others. I make mine in the academic world.
 

hounddawg

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@BernardSmith the,,, grape wine,, ,mead,,, or country wine is not the point , but you, yourself has stipulated that traditional wines are the premier wine based on what cooperate puts in the bank, as a matter of fact all your posts in this thread you've tried to justify based on what the upper crust claims, so that they feel better about oneself, a big part of my adult life was spent face to face dealing with multi-billionaire developers, yet it seems they cant be happy unless someone else is not able to have what they can have, i had a aunt that when she passed had better then $90,000,000,,, her and her husband were on the phones at the crack of dawn on Sundays,, that was 2 cell phones each and 1 land line, while i set on the lake/river dad and I,, with my cell turned off, and two fishing poles each, oh, after my aunt passed 3 years ago, her son is now broke and working like a dog, one of her daughters OD'D on hard drugs and passed and her last daughter last month stopped on the side of a inner state in TN. told her kids that if they did not shut up she'd step in front of a car, her oldest daughter told her to go ahead, she did, closed coffin,, you speak of why what you like is why it is premier, yet i feel that what is our best liked is our premier, I have no problem with what anyone likes, yet you seem to need most others to be inferior,, you have my pity and i pray you to find peace, God Bless You
Dawg
 

BernardSmith

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First, Dawg, I am so sorry that so many of your family was /is in so much pain throughout their lives that they ended those lives either through self mediation or through other means. But I think what I wrote cannot have been clear if your reading is as you write it. What I was trying to suggest was only that what you or I or anyone gets pleasure from is the only criterion of what is good. But that there are some folk who don't enjoy what their senses tell them is pleasurable. Rather THEY enjoy what the labels tell them and labels ONLY tell them the cost in dollars. So, the wines they hold up as superlative may be junk in terms of taste and aroma just as long as OTHER PEOPLE -including themselves are willing to pay four , five, six figures for a bottle. Me? I truly, truly, believe that a bottle of SP shared with loved ones is among the finest drink on planet Earth. I would argue that my elderflower wine is delightful and my orange t'ej is wonderful. I don't care if it is dinged by judges and might viewed as less than crap by sommeliers in Manhattan. (Actually, I DO care that a wine I make is dinged by judges... because I want to please those judges because I view trained judges as good judges but I know I may be very wrong).
 

cmason1957

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I say all this is just like mental mastubation. Make what you like to drink and drink it. If others like it, so much the better. But for the most part, I make what I like and then a few for the family that like sweeter stuff. I'm not trying to make everyone like the dry red grape wines I like. It doesn't mayest to me what someone else likes.

Country, grape, vegetables, candy, it's all good, if you like it.
 

hounddawg

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First, Dawg, I am so sorry that so many of your family was /is in so much pain throughout their lives that they ended those lives either through self mediation or through other means. But I think what I wrote cannot have been clear if your reading is as you write it. What I was trying to suggest was only that what you or I or anyone gets pleasure from is the only criterion of what is good. But that there are some folk who don't enjoy what their senses tell them is pleasurable. Rather THEY enjoy what the labels tell them and labels ONLY tell them the cost in dollars. So, the wines they hold up as superlative may be junk in terms of taste and aroma just as long as OTHER PEOPLE -including themselves are willing to pay four , five, six figures for a bottle. Me? I truly, truly, believe that a bottle of SP shared with loved ones is among the finest drink on planet Earth. I would argue that my elderflower wine is delightful and my orange t'ej is wonderful. I don't care if it is dinged by judges and might viewed as less than crap by sommeliers in Manhattan. (Actually, I DO care that a wine I make is dinged by judges... because I want to please those judges because I view trained judges as good judges but I know I may be very wrong).
hum, i can't argue with this post,
Dawg
 

hounddawg

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I say all this is just like mental mastubation. Make what you like to drink and drink it. If others like it, so much the better. But for the most part, I make what I like and then a few for the family that like sweeter stuff. I'm not trying to make everyone like the dry red grape wines I like. It doesn't mayest to me what someone else likes.

Country, grape, vegetables, candy, it's all good, if you like it.
mental what? i just called child protection on you 😁 lol
Dawg
 

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