Best in Class

Prestige (Singapore) - - TALK -

in the im­me­di­acy of its crisp bite and vis­ceral sim­plic­ity, to Bur­gundy. Yet while the Bur­gundy failed me (or per­haps I failed it), bot­tle after bot­tle of the Tx­akoli disappeared as the day turned to night. Sim­plic­ity of wine and pu­rity of spirit — that’s all that mat­tered! In that sense, Tx­akoli en­cap­su­lated the mo­ment. It was all that we could have hoped for.

With that, I sug­gest that while in­trin­sic qual­i­ties of wine can be iden­ti­fied and some­times quan­ti­fied — length of fin­ish, bal­ance of acid­ity, tan­nins, fruit den­sity, for ex­am­ple — th­ese are in­di­ca­tions only of a wine’s make-up. As­sess­ment of th­ese fac­tors may al­lude to the cost of pro­duc­tion and with that, the am­bi­tions of the wine­maker, but they are largely worth­less when weigh­ing the joy, or lack of, that drink­ing wine brings.

Of course, some grasp of a wine’s make-up can fa­cil­i­tate plea­sure, just as an un­der­stand­ing of any dis­ci­pline serves as a plat­form for greater en­joy­ment. Yet over-anal­y­sis and the quest to drink the “best” will only serve up the ob­vi­ous cul­prits: wines from fa­mous re­gions, with high scores from crit­ics who in­creas­ingly say the same thing, while el­e­vat­ing scores to the point whereby they mean noth­ing at all.

Th­ese same com­men­ta­tors tell us that the qual­ity of wine around the world has never been bet­ter. Yet de­pend­ing on whether one seeks the likes of a Tx­akoli or an im­pec­ca­bly made wine that could have been made from any num­ber of re­gions across the wine world, mind-numb­ingly dull in its bland­ness, one could ar­gue that qual­ity — if de­fined by wines of place and in­trigue — has never been worse.

The con­cept of “best value” wines, or “great wines for the money”, too, can be equally neb­u­lous. After all, as the won­der­ful blog­ger, the Hose­mas­ter of Wine quips, there is no such thing as “great” wine un­der US$20. I would sug­gest $30.

If “best value” is de­fined by the num­ber of wines in a re­gion of ve­rac­ity, or of a typ­ic­ity true to their ori­gins; wines that are af­ford­able to many (un­der $50) while be­ing ca­pa­ble of con­fer­ring im­mense plea­sure across a breadth of ex­pres­sions both highly age­able and com­plex; and those that serve up im­mi­nent sat­is­fac­tion, here is a highly per­son­alised list of fer­tile pos­si­bil­i­ties...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.