Wine Insight (mostly) From Seattle
Paul Gregutt, the wine writer for the Seattle Times for five years now and the Washington State regional correspondent for Appellation America, stood back today and looked back at the past year through the lens of wine. What he came up with was some very interesting, insightful and notable conclusions.
Among the notable ideas he mentions is what he infers to be his job as the Times Wine Writer: "praise wines, challenge winemakers and cajole readers into trying something new." I particularly like the idea of the last two elements of his job description. It’s exactly what a good wine column should do.
But on to a few of Gregutt’s insights:
1. Paul is concerned with the seemingly steady rise in alcohol content in wines over the past two decades. But he has hope: "Despite the apparent popularity of these high-octane wines, my sense is
that consumer tastes are changing. Elegance and complexity are becoming
more important than sheer power. Wines that are expressive of place,
that are true to varietal, that convey as much pleasure in their aromas
as in their flavors, and that perform well at the table are in vogue."
I hope he’s right!
2. He names Mendocino as the Most Underrated Wine Region. That’s spot on!
3. He names Glass Stoppers as The Best Replacement for Corks.
4. He names Canada’s Okanagan as the The Most Interesting Wine Region (actually it ties for this honor with Western Australia). Others have discovered this region too. The amount that has been written about the area has surged in 2006.
Paul has a number of very interesting parting shots and insights about wine in 2006 that are well worth a read. The only place he stumbles is in naming Fermentation "Best Wine Blog". While I’m really very honored that he comes to this conclusion, I can only assume that given the astounding number of really great wine blogs out there Paul must have just finished a tasting of 17%+ alcohol zins before writing that part of the article. Nevertheless, THANK YOU Paul.