Wines for the “Moron Market”?
The issues surrounding the idea of Terroir are almost exclusively debated among those who have a stake in wine and wine quality or those who are hard core wine lovers. It’s similar to it being Civil War buffs who are the ones likely to debate General Lee’s strategy at Gettysburg.
But if you want to see how the discussion of terroir can be taken out of the realm the geeks and into the bright world of common culture, all you have to do is dismiss an entire country’s wine production by saying they don’t exhibit terroir.
This is exactly what philosopher Roger Scruton did in an unusually stupid set of comments at the recent Conference of the Philosophy of Wine at the University of London in December, in Harpers, a UK wine trade wine magazine, and in an article he penned for New Statesman magazine.
Scruton, who as well as being a wine writer the New Statesman, is also the chair of the Philosophy Department of the University of London. Scruton has made the argument that drinking to moderate excess is justified if you drink wines that exhibit terroir, but not justified if you drink wines that don’t exhibit terroir because drinking wines of terroir is really "communion with the immanent reality, history, geography and customs of a community."
Assuring that no one mistakes what he is saying, scruton goes on to say that the appearance of terroir in Australian wines is absent and that Australian wines are generally produced for "The moron market".
The ways by which this moron’s words and ideas can be taken apart are many. In fact Luke Slattery has done this for us in the Sidney Morning Herald.