Friday, December 17, 2004


While catching up with some of the other blogs, I came across a recent post by Tom at Fermentations and the response by Christian. While I don't disagree with the heavy-handed use of oak (I once heard a quote from a French winemaker that drinking California Chardonnay is like giving a blowjob to Pinocchio and I'll never get that image out of my head), I don't agree with the homogenization point....

The idea that making wine that consumers prefer will lead to homogenization has been oft repeated, but I have a hard time following it. Books, for example, are heavily edited and marketed toward certain demographics yet when I go into my local bookstore, I still see 1,000's of different books on the shelves, each with a different perspective and unique from the other. Movies are even test marketed before release to make sure they will do well, but there are still 1,000's of them released worldwide each year, with many gems that do well (like Sideways!). While making a product that involves some art (books, movies, wine) and gearing it toward an target market to maximize sales might lack pure artistic integrity, so too does the very notion of selling one's art for profit!

If you want to make wines of the purest expression of the grape, then do so and drink them with friends. If you can make a profit at the same time, however small or large, then more power to you. If, however, popular sentiment runs away from, shall we say, gangster movies, don't keep making gangster movies and lamenting the public's inability to appreciate your art.


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