Where Wine Criticism Merges into Dictating Taste

Wow…talk about the power of the wine critic.

It’s one thing to bestow a wine with a score of 75 points or one star and leave for the consumer to decide after that. It’s an altogether different thing to ban the sale of wine in an entire country because there’s something about its color, aroma or taste you don’t like.

That appears to be the case in Russia where the all powerful "Rospotrebnadzor", that country’s consumer rights and sanitation department, announced that it has rejected for sale in Russia 11 Ukranian wines because they "failed to meet organoleptic requirements
(taste,  aroma  and  color)."

Keep in mind, this kind of determination is apparently different than a rejection of wine based on sanitary conditions noted in the wine. Someone at "Rospotrebnadzor" simply doesn’t like the wine, so….it shan’t be sold.

Winemaking in the Ukraine has a fairly ancient history and those wines from the Crimea are considered to be among the best produced in the Near East.

One has to wonder if there are any politics behind this banning of certain wines. Or, perhaps Russia is simply taking the guessing out of the wine buying process by dictating what kind of wine and what type of tastes are appropriate for that country. Seems we’ve seen this approach from that neck of the woods before.

3 Responses

  1. Deena - September 11, 2006

    “One has to wonder if there are any politics behind this banning of certain wines.”
    In a word, yes.
    The Russians consume far too much rotgut booze (often killing themselves in the process) to actually care about the smell, taste or color of the wine they import. However, like any nation, they quite often use trade issues to influence other nations. I very much doubt this has anything at all to do with wine itself.

  2. Carl - September 17, 2006

    I have recently finished bottling an old vine zinfandel. Through the entire process of fermentation and clearing the wine seemed fine and I’m sure the specific gravity reading were on. Once bottled it seems to have developed a champane like quality, it is very fizzy. Any help on what could cause this and what could be done to cure it would be appreciated. Thanks

  3. J - April 14, 2007

    Carl… how did it affect the taste? Maybe you just created the next college fad.

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