5 Wishes for Wine in 2013
MY WISHES FOR WINE IN 2013
1. The Natural Wine Movement Reforms Itself
I wish 2013 is the year that those who self-identify with and promote the “Natural Wine” movement finally give credit where credit is due and recognize all the artisan producers everywhere who have for years (decades, really), been doing exactly what the “naturalistas” claim they are promoting anew: creating wines with minimal manipulation in order to accurately portray terroir. The “Natural Wine” movement’s claim of trailblazing in this regard is insulting, fraudulent, bad for the wine industry, and dismissive of history.
2. That Shoppers Everywhere Can Buy Their Groceries and Wine in One Place
Remarkably, a number of states still prohibit the sale of wine in grocery stores. It is a prohibition that can’t be justified by any claim of regulatory necessity or desire to promote temperance, but rather remains in place through protective motivations. It remains a wildly anti-consumer stance that is only justified now merely by regulatory inertia and intense lobbying.
3. That California’s Wine Growing Regions Are Carved Up Further
The idea that certain wine growing regions possess unique climates and terrain that in turn deliver particular characteristics to grapes grown in these regions and into the wines produced from these grapes should not be controversial. Additionally, the more smaller, well-defined appellations that can legally appear on the bottle is better for the consumer. My hope is that there is political will in the wine industry to create more, smaller American Viticultural Areas that provide consumers and the wine industry more opportunity to appreciate and promote the unique growing areas in this state. Certainly, the Russian River Valley ought to be carved up into more “Green Valleys”. And the “Sonoma Coast” ought to be carved up into numerous new and smaller AVAs,
4. That California’s True Old Vine Vineyards Gain Protected and Celebrated Status
Vineyards such as Old Hill Ranch and Pagani Ranch in Sonoma Valley are state treasures though which we come face to face with the state’s history and the history of wine in America. The state of California ought to find some way to recognize the historic nature of these old vineyards in the same way and for the same reasons they recognize buildings and other venues for California Historical Landmark status. This is not necessarily a desire on my part to see the term “old vine” regulated, but merely the hope that great viticultural treasures be recognized for their historic significance.
5. That Wine Makes A Comeback in the American Media
For some years now, coverage of wine in the American mainstream media has dwindled. There was once a wine column in nearly every major newspaper and a large number of smaller newspapers. Many magazines kept a wine column. Not so much anymore. My hope is that these kinds of columns return. It will take media outlets of significance to show the way. The New Yorker Magazine could set an outstanding example were it to finally bring on a regular wine critic published alongside their critics of dance, art, symphonic music and restaurants.