“The battle for wine’s soul”…Coming Soon.

I’d heard rumblings of the documentary “Mondovino,” a film that apparently takes a sympathetic look at the growing notion that a World Style of Wine is taking over thanks to the likes of the big conglomerates and a style being promoted by Robert Parker. Apparently the film is drumming up a bit of controversy in wine circles.

Mondovino is described by Time Magazine as “a quirky, subversive defense of Terroir: the idea that every wine ought to be a unique expression of the specific combination of sun, soil and human sweat that went into its creation.” The filmmaker, Jonathan Nossiter, is a sommelier.

In the film one Burgundian winemaker suggests that, “”We’re in the thick of the battle for the survival of wine as an expression of individual complexity, up against the complex forces of homogenization.” This strikes me as hooey (sp?)

The vast majority of winemakers on the planet are artisans at heart, believe in the notion of terroir, and produce relatively small amounts of wine. Sure, there is an “international” style of wine emerging out there, but I see no evidence that the artisan approach to wine is in any peril. I can find unique, interesting wines everywhere.

That said, what’s interesting is more and more there is a “you are with us or against us” argument gaining steam in the wine world. It’s seen in movies like this, in the regular desire to promote ABC wines in the press, and among many wine snobs who completely dismiss the wines of the big, international wineries. How this all shakes out will be interesting, if of little consequence.

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