Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wine Study- "Apertife"

Endangered by Cabernet Sauvignon? The Rocky Terraces Cailouteuses in Roussillon France
“I have seen the future of wine and it’s name is Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.” –Jancis Robinson

Today we start a series of sessions with the Francesca's at Sunset and Brannon's Cafe teams we are calling "Wine Study."  We will be meeting every other Saturday for the purpose of expanding our knowledge and experience with wine.  Our first guide will be Jancis Robinson's Wine Course DVD, an excellent resource!  Aired in the United Kingdom in 1995 and is fascinating to see both area where the wine industry has not changed and areas where it has.

Episode 1- Aperitif has a powerful hold on me because of the narrative arch Jancis takes us on; after filling in her background she tells you quite convincingly that the ONLY opinion about wine that matters in your own. As she builds the story of the wine industry showing us the competition results and supermarket buyers at work juxtaposition to vines being pulled up and wineries passed over by the buyers, and the changing habits of the wine drinking population.  At the end she boldly proclaims “I have seen the future of wine and it’s name is Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.” Probably not quite prophetic in 1995, it is amazing at how DOMINATE these two grapes have become.  From the vantage point; here in the future, I can see just how right she is today.  To drive the point home we can look up the places featured; the most dramatic being Domaine de Mayrac, which the supermarket buyer passed over, was sold by the Buoro family in five years of the filming.  Carignan, the grape vines being bulldozed in the video, in the Languedoc and Roussillon regions the planting area has decreased by seventy-one percent ((as of 2009, most likely even more today) or is it less...meaning more bulldozing and less Carignan grapes.) This is where it impacts me; yes it is our opinion that matters and the wine choices we make today have deeply profound effects in the lives and communities around the world. As consumers, sellers, educators and lovers of wine we have to make the right choices, informed choices and wise choices. 

It is a very compelling episode which is informative and instructional. Our group watched it and I provided this handout which has a few notes from the video and some information and links to more on the web related to the topics Jancis covers, hopefully it adds a bit of depth on the subjects.

To check your learning experience and highlight the most important information here is the quiz.  And the quiz with answers. And please reply to this blog; do you believe the future of wine is Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon?

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