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.
TIM ATKIN MW