Sunday, August 02, 2009

'Pop' Wines vs. 'Classical'

I found a way to restrain my wine consumption… by drinking more plonk … but I’m definitely not recommending it.

In fact, if one acquires the taste for plonk it could end the pleasure of imbibing socially forever. Groups may morph into plonk drinkers versus wine drinkers changing familial relationships and societal dispositions. Commercial plonk may be supplemented by home brew plonk, the decline continuing down the plonk abyss. This ‘acquired taste’ may be the reason why the LCBO sells so much plonk, each year putting more on to their shelves and the reason brew shops have popped up in every community.

But how did we get here? I’m suggesting that Ontarians have accepted too much plonk over the years and now we are in the second or third generation of plonk drinkers. I believe it’s an Ontario phenomenon dating back to the days of filling out order slips in front parlours to be filled from out-of-sight backroom inventory by LCBO servers. In time past local wines smelled of shellac with penetrating acids and strong lambrusco or sweet muscat notes. It’s time to reverse the trend… to crunch more grapes, to walk more vineyards with sun lifting the earthy aromas, the scent of field flowers in the nostrils, to savour and rediscover the texture and flavours of various grapes… then expect these same characteristics in the bottles we purchase… even the lower priced wines.

I listened recently to a reviewer of classical music, operatic and orchestral, commenting on Paul Potts, the winner of last year’s Britain Has Talent TV show, abilities as a operatic singer. The whole review was laced with uncompromising criticism. The critic said he could not listen to a whole Paul Potts CD. He had stopped part way through having heard enough to form his opinion and was unable to listen to more. And yet Paul Potts subsequent to his win has performed around the world. My conclusion is there’s a distinct difference between a critical reviewer, with years of classical music training and exposure, and the voting Britain Has Talent viewer. I would call it a difference between ‘pop classics’ and ‘classical classics’. [Lucinao Pavarotti live in Paris , Andrea Bocelli sings in Tuscany , Michael Bolton sings Nessun Dorma  ]

Similarly there is ‘pop wine’ and ‘classical wine’ just to put names to two styles being produced today. ‘Pop wine’ mimics ‘classical wine’ by adding a little bit of this to bolster body, a little bit of that for a floral scent, a touch of that for citrus tang, etc. etc. mimicking flavour nuances, subtleties of textures, how the wine evolves in the glass being both surprising and pleasing and how the wine complements a meal, appetizer or conversation. To know the additives to use is a chemist‘s art and for a ‘pop wine’ to emulate even a few of these natural characteristics faithfully is an impossibility. The ’classical wine’ doesn’t mimic… the winemaker can give you all of these - it’s the real thing.

We need to probe what nature creates from the majestic grape and the next time we purchase from the LCBO break the plonk cycle. Search for wines that are genuine and of quality.

My opinion, Ww

PS. I have PP's CD 'Passione' and enjoy listening to it! But then I don't speak Italian nor do I know any operas!!

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