Saturday, December 23, 2006

I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff

Spotted this December 2002 article in Randy's World of Wine. Sommelier Randy Caparoso was the multi-award winning wine director and founding partner of the Roy's restaurant group (from 1988 to 2001).

Burgundy is a place in France. But when I penned my first story for The Honolulu Advertiser in 1981, the Burgundy familiar to most Americans was the cheap, easy, and at best inoffensive red colored stuff bottled in "jugs" by producers like Ernest & Julio Gallo, Paul Masson, Almaden, and the like. To the eternal horror of the French, California made Burgundy almost never contained a drop of actual Pinot Noir.

Chilled wine was especially hot at the start of the 1980s, but it was mostly bottled as jug Chablis and "Vin Rose." Like many things we buy (especially today), the packaging was probably more expensive to produce than the wine itself. Bigger was not better in those days either.

Today, however, wine in general is bigger and better than ever before. Wine snobs may hold their noses up at the mass production Chardonnays, White Zinfandels, Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots in the stores today, but just about every bit of it is a lot better tasting than the Burgundy, Chablis and Rose we drank 25 years ago. Heck, even today's wines-in-the-box are better. In fact, there is currently such an overproduction of great tasting wine that you can find perfectly delicious bottles for as low as $4, $5, $6 – practically the same prices as 25 years ago. Drink up, America.

Randy's World of Wine -

Today's varietals in jugs and boxes truly are quite superior to the plonk of the 1980s. So just relax, and enjoy, everyone!

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