I read an interesting article by Lettie Teague in Food & Wine magazine regarding calibers of wine ranging from good, great to extraordinary. In the article, the writer said that she presented two bottles of wine to her friend, a Chicago-based wine collector. One of her wine choices was jokingly turned away and the other bottle of wine was used for cooking. Apparently, this friend is an expert in wine. He must have extraordinary taste, but what good is it to drink “extraordinary” wine while demonstrating such “un-extraordinary” etiquette? I would be taken aback if someone rejected my wine choices. No one should be forced to like anything, but there should be a level of respect and appreciation for other people’s interest and choices.
Most of the world is not sommeliers. Ultimately it is the taster of the wine who will have the final say. Not to insult the knowledge of any wine enthusiast, but we are taught what is good, great and extraordinary. We are fed information through magazines, radio and television programming. We take suggestions from “professionals.” In my opinion, personal preferences take precedence. In addition, we should stop allowing the world to dictate what is good, great and extraordinary. We should live in comfort knowing and enjoying what is good, great and extraordinary to us. It’s o.k. to be open and welcoming to new experiences, but we should not be forced into believing that our own experiences are of no value. It is preposterous to treat the average wine drinker as though their opinions are worthless. It is insulting to say that someone does not have taste because they prefer a lower priced wine, which brings to light the separation of class. Groups often over sensationalize products to promote their stature. It’s a gimmick to separate the rich from the poor. By saying that an extraordinary wine is a Bordeaux priced at $800.00 a bottle, would lead me to believe that many will never taste an extraordinary wine. Upon sipping that $134.00 glass of Bordeaux, you realize as an average wine drinker you prefer the more economically priced wine – not because of the cost, but because of your taste buds response to the wine.
If you are use to drinking a wine that averages $5.00 a glass, don’t feel intimidated. Ultimately, what taste good to the drinker is all that matters. Do not limit yourself, but do not feel obligated to venture out. Explore by interest not by force. Before sipping that glass of Shiraz, Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc, be sure to do two things, LOVE WHAT YOU LOVE and TOAST TO BEING FABULOUS!