This is the absolute truth, Oscar Wild had once more identified a real problem and expressed it with a humorous touch.
This quote hasn’t stopped running in my head, since that day almost one month ago, when I was given to taste a Greek red wine, which was actually a wanna-be French wine. Are you confused? Yes, me too!
So, the winemaker had the aspiration to make a fine quality red wine, a real Bordeaux… but in Greece. He used the classic Bordeaux blend and made everything by the book. The result was a truly fine wine, a professional taster would find it very challenging to put his finger on a fault or a problem. But who would guess the origin of this fine product? Let’s check the bottle, some important information may be on it. Then I was even more triggered, as I lifted the bottle; the label was written in French with French words and colors and everything you would expect from a French wine.
It got me then thinking, what would I do if I went to Greece and after getting off the aeroplane, I would see the Tour Eiffel in front of me? Then, what if I went go for a walk by the sea and craved for grilled fishes and fresh salads and instead I would get a foie gras or cassoulet? Of course, I truly love South-West France cuisine, but.. I am in Greece. I want to smell and taste and eat Greek traditional recipes.
But this wasn’t the first and surely will not be the last time that winemakers are trying to make a wine in a country X but what they really want is to make the exact same wine, as produced in a country Y. The most recent incident, was in a Riesling tasting, where a Riesling of Washington D.C. was described as a real German Riesling. Why? Why? Alas, people do not have entirely understood the importance of Terroir.
Respect your Terroir
The concept of Terroir refers to the relationship of an agricultural product characteristics (quality, taste, style) and its geographical origin. It can be described as an interactive ecosystem in a given area, which includes climate, soil and vines. (Senguin, 1988).
I think, that a wine should be the embodied pride of its origin and should reflect the soil, the sun, the rain, the fog; the micro- and macro climate of its land. Otherwise, it is a wine that has no character or personality or something to say really. So what? This would be my comment.