1/25/2010

California Cabernet: Dying or Manifest Destiny?

Posted by The Wine Whore |


You don't have to drink wine for hundreds or years to know what you like to drink, or listen to the "experts" to find a good bottle, or even spend your life savings to have a good sip. That's why I am fascinated by articles like this one by Dan Berger discussing what he considers to be the "Collapse of Cabernet."

At first, I totally agree with Dan...

Wine shouldn't be overblown, a "fruitbomb", or have an alcohol content equivalent to Everclear in order to be enjoyable. A beautifully aged bottle of Bordeaux is one hundred times more enjoyable than many of the California Cabernets out there today.

So what HAS happened to California Cabernet?

I can't tell you how California Cab used to taste, I only know how it tastes today. Sure there's a lot of bottles that I think utterly suck, but there's also many more that I still enjoy. I must not forget the fact that California Cabernet will always be my first love... the wine that got me into wine in the first place. For that, I will always be thankful!

Can I blame wineries for changing their methods, formula, and practices to bring in the next generation of wine drinkers? Heck no!

Making wine that is appealing to the masses is the best way to attract more people like myself and convert them into future wine lovers. Just like me, the new generation of wine lovers will eventually want to discover more than just these gateway Cabs. Their discovery will include much more than even the style that Dan says was produced in California years ago. It will include different grapes, regions, and whatever else is out there. I just hope that many more wineries will continue their tradition of making wines the same way they have for decades. That way, I can still taste the way California Cab "used to be" without having to get into a time machine or punch the Delorean up to 88 miles per hour.

As wine drinkers, we need to continue to challenge our palates. Keep an open mind. Enjoy as many types and styles of wine and support those who give their lives to bringing the next bottle into our hands.

Is California Cabernet collapsing?

I say, it has only begun to be built!



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6 comments:

Shannon Casey said...

California Cabernet is probably collapsing the same way this new-fangled Internet is going to ruin the world and the way no good music has been made since 1978 (well... the last one may be true!) Although I appreciate his article and his point of view, his article does not encourage new wine drinkers to explore new California Cabernet, it just tells them that "wine experts" say it ain't what it used to be.

The Wine Whore said...

Well said! I wish more wine experts were as open minded!

Cheers!

@nectarwine said...

Hey now, Shannon. Some of the best music was made in the 80's. Def Leppard Hysteria. ACDC Back in Black. Guns n Roses Appetite for Destruction. Miley Cyrus...well, nevermind.

I didn't read the article, but Randy, I agree; wine is a journey. People start with basic perceptions and then grow and mature to experience greater nuances and tastes.

Nice post!

The Wine Whore said...

Thank you Josh! You had me going with that list until you hit Miley Cyrus! :P

Rachel said...

What about the Killers? They're awesome.

I was happily drinking cabs before this article and will happily drink them after. Shannon makes a great point. I'll add to it: Experts-shmeksperts.

The Wine Whore said...

I am so glad you guys feel that way! Drink what you like and keep on enjoying what you drink!

Now that's what I call an "expert"! :)

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