Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Trump, Brexit, and Other Endangered Grape Varieties

Estimates of the number of varieties of vitis vinifera in cultivation vary widely. In the seminal work, “Wine Grapes,” the grape expert Dr. José Vouillamoz (pronounced “Wham-O”) asserts that the number is “close to a shitload.” (A “shitload” is defined as way more than eight thousand, or whatever Terry Theise writes in “World of Fine Wine.”) Interest in unusual varieties has grown quickly in recent years, fueled by consumer boredom with the usual suspects like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and that red grape that makes wines that are bitey.

Both sommeliers and people who actually love wine have grown more interested in unusual grape varieties. The varieties don't necessarily have to make great wine. In fact, sommeliers prefer the varieties that are obscure rather than really good. It's much like preferring minor league baseball for all its attendant inferiority. For those who love the oddball varieties, I've compiled a list of very rare grapes. You'll have to leap to Tim Atkin's site to read about them, but you'll find it worth the trip. As always, leave your comments there, they're more valuable now after Brexit, or you may leave them here where they are greatly devalued.



mark rader said...

The title of this piece alone killed me, to say nothing of the content. As one of my neighbors here in Washington remarked, "If you have a friend who writes a blog called 'Hosemaster of Wine,' you may be a redneck." Or something.

Aaron said...

HMW, normally your links goes directly to the article, doesn't for some reason this time. For those wanting a direct link to the article, http://www.timatkin.com/articles?1692

Ron Washam, HMW said...

So many of the short hand used in the press sounds like either an odd grape variety, or a new drug for erectile dysfunction. Since I don't write a blog about erectile dysfunction...yet...I wrote this piece instead.

Noted! And now fixed. Thanks for noticing. I'm such a limp dick sometimes.

Aaron said...

Just keeping you on your toes, and trying to help out fellow fans :) Especially if they come here after the article on Tim's site goes off of the front page.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,

Brexit tasting bitter and offensive was fucking perfect. Is it any wonder why I love and admire you so?!
I love you

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Oh, there's lots to wonder why you love and admire me. I wonder all the time. Yet incredibly grateful.

Brexit is the new Furmint. Or something.

Bob Henry said...


Is Brexit the vilified ('cuse me: vinified) grape from which British sparkling wine is made?