Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

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Mark Golodetz
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Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#1 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 8th, 2019, 6:38 am

Long discussion over lunch. Opinions evenly divided.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#2 Post by Nathan V. » January 8th, 2019, 6:45 am

Yes.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#3 Post by Brian Gilp » January 8th, 2019, 6:53 am

Quality is relative and based on individuals own experience. If all one has tasted is Andre then Korbel probably tastes great.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#4 Post by GregT » January 8th, 2019, 7:56 am

Well, if it were chocolate cake and you tasted it for the first time ever and you liked it, would you feel less enjoyment for not having had a bad experience before? I remember the first time I'd ever had beef cooked by a Japanese friend. I'd never tasted that combination of sweet and salty flavors before but I liked it right away.

But it also depends on where you are in a wine context.

If you've never had any wine at all in your life, you probably wouldn't appreciate any of it. If you've had a few wines then there's no reason to drink lesser ones. It's why I don't get the people who say they'll buy every vintage of some producer, even when the wines aren't particularly good. That seems a bit masochistic to me and in those cases I would say most definitely you don't need to drink the "lesser" wines to appreciate the good ones. "Lesser" being relative of course - I like the "lesser" vintages of the S. Rhone more than the supposed great ones like 2007.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#5 Post by cjsavino » January 8th, 2019, 8:01 am

Still also see times where I have taken a break from wines for a couple weeks, and then really get back into them with appreciation.

My father in-law who lives with us drinks sub-$15 Cabernets. Every now and then try them and they really are industrial wine with no varietal distinction
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#6 Post by Billy Norris » January 8th, 2019, 8:09 am

Yes. Perspective isn't necessarily everything, but it certainly can bring about more appreciation for things that are truly great. If you drive a Mercedes S63 and have to rent a Honda Accord for a week when you go out of town on a work trip, are you going to tell me that you're not going to appreciate that Mercedes a little more when you get home?

That being said, I derive enjoyment from all kinds of wines, spirits, and beers, and I don't drive a Merceds S63 [berserker.gif]

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#7 Post by ky1em!ttskus » January 8th, 2019, 8:18 am

This is an interesting question that I’m very eager to follow.

When I was first getting into wine, someone told me — paraphrasing here — that I couldn’t opine on a PN unless I had drunk a DRC.

I thought it was an absurd statement at the time, and as of now, still find it absurd. But... [popcorn.gif]

For the record, I have never had a DRC (or first growth or 96 Krug) so ignore my thoughts on wine if you wish! [snort.gif]

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#8 Post by Jeff Leve » January 8th, 2019, 8:46 am

Drink? No. But taste, absolutely. Life does not exist in a vacuum and neither does wine tasting. Where did you stand on the question Mark?

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#9 Post by David Glasser » January 8th, 2019, 8:48 am

At some point, yes, for a point of reference. But once you’ve got adequate experience, it doesn’t have to be repeated regularly to continue to appreciate the great ones.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#10 Post by Markus S » January 8th, 2019, 9:34 am

Do you need to live in hell before you can appreciate heaven?
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#11 Post by Doug Schulman » January 8th, 2019, 9:38 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 8:46 am
Drink? No. But taste, absolutely.
I agree.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#12 Post by Kevin Porter » January 8th, 2019, 9:46 am

What's wrong with cherry-picking?

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#13 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » January 8th, 2019, 10:02 am

David Glasser wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 8:48 am
At some point, yes, for a point of reference. But once you’ve got adequate experience, it doesn’t have to be repeated regularly to continue to appreciate the great ones.
One of the great advantages of being in a blind tasting group for the last 21 years is that I taste stuff from up and down the quality ladder on a regular basis. The experience is both humbling and educational. It has kept me grounded in the broader world of wine, rather than just the narrow focus of wines I choose to buy.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#14 Post by K John Joseph » January 8th, 2019, 10:11 am

Markus S wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 9:34 am
Do you need to live in hell before you can appreciate heaven?
If you've always lived in heaven would you take it for granted, not knowing the realities of hell or even Earth?

I think this is a two part issue. First, to identify and appreciate a wine as "great" you must have a frame of context. Taste plonk, okay, good, great, epic wines, and you'll appreciate just how special the epic wine can be. Because you know they're truly special, you'll appreciate them more. Second, drink only epic wines from day one and will you even realize what a rare and special treat they are? Probably not because it's just status quo that you take for granted.

All of us take incredible things for granted on a daily basis because we don't have to endure crummy stuff. If you own a really nice mattress, you know what I'm talking about. It's just there and not something you appreciate every night until you go sleep at a "historic" hotel with a spring mattress and cry yourself to a restless sleep. How much more do you appreciate that first night back sleeping in your own bed?

Taking things for granted aside, most of us drink great wines on a regular basis. If you're scoring those wines for CT or your own personal notes, you're at least acknowledging the qualitative greatness of the great wines you're drinking. You're not appreciating them less just because you aren't popping a 2Buck in between, even if you may be taking their greatness for granted.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#15 Post by ybarselah » January 8th, 2019, 10:11 am

great can only be great in comparison to other things, so yes, of course. any argument to the contrary is inherently illogical. no one could possibly conclude michael jordan was good at basketball without understanding what basketball is and how others play it.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#16 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 8th, 2019, 10:13 am

I think the answer depends on what you mean by the word appreciate.

Two of the three dictionary definitions (Merriam-Webster) are: “to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of” and “to judge with heightened perception or understanding: to be fully aware of” (my italics). Under those definitions, then I think yes, absolutely. These definitions include elements of understanding and context, beyond simple enjoyment, which cannot come without comparison and broader expereince.

The other definition, however, is simply “to value or admire highly.” Under that definition, probably not. You can value and admire DRC even if it’s the only wine you’ve ever tasted, based solely on your isolated enjoyment of it.

I think the first two are much more deeply meaningful, though, and certainly support my experience. I find great joy in the learning aspects of this wine hobby, and have often advocated paths and approaches that encourage new collectors to explore in many ways. I am positive my own joy in great wine has sensory, emotional and intellectual components, none of which could be as impactful without context and broad experience.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#17 Post by Robert Sand » January 8th, 2019, 10:19 am

I drink more "lesser" wines (but good ones) than great wines - over the week usually I have no time to apprciate really great wines, it would be a waste, also with not enough time to prepare them properly, or if I´m out of house.
It is also a good comprison when something really fine is in the glass - but I try not to drop below a certain standard.

We have a lot of good daily drinkers in Germany.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#18 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 8th, 2019, 10:24 am

ybarselah wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:11 am
great can only be great in comparison to other things, so yes, of course. any argument to the contrary is inherently illogical. no one could possibly conclude michael jordan was good at basketball without understanding what basketball is and how others play it.
This comment connects directly to my point - depends on what you mean by appreciate. I'm pretty sure someone who had never seen another basketball player could still "value and admire" Michael Jordan's play, but could not "grasp the nature, worth, quality or significance" of it.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#19 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 8th, 2019, 10:28 am

Wow, fascinating question. When I first read it, my immediate response was 'yes, absolutely...then it changed, full reverse. I'm not sure I know the answer, really. I know when I have a truly great wine I appreciate it 'more' than a good one, but before I had great wines, the 'good' wines were 'great' at the time! Reminds me of my mom, who drank box wine in the fridge. She'd always want to 'try' a wine of mine, and I went safe with a nice RRV Zinfandel, so it wasn't too dry, and she never liked it. She would apologize and say that she's sorry she doesn't like my wines, but then I would say 'no! I WISH I liked your wines! Would save me so much more money!'

So, in that case, which is the right answer? Do you enjoy great wines more because you have had lesser wines, so you can truly tell the difference between good and bad, or if you settle in with whatever you currently like, isn't THAT your 'great' wine?
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#20 Post by Anton D » January 8th, 2019, 10:32 am

I have yet to meet a fellow oenophile who started with only great wines and stayed the course of never having lesser wines.

I'd say having tasted a variety of wines leads one to understand what one considers great, necessitating that one have worked one's way through 'lesser wines.'

Therefore, having had 'lesser' wines is paramount to discovering what one regards as great wines.

As for someone who entered the hobby with the ability to have only tasted 'great wines,' I'd call that person a vinous dilettante and would not be eager to see out such company. It would indicate that person's palate was created by external forces, not a process of appreciation.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#21 Post by ybarselah » January 8th, 2019, 10:48 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:24 am
ybarselah wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:11 am
great can only be great in comparison to other things, so yes, of course. any argument to the contrary is inherently illogical. no one could possibly conclude michael jordan was good at basketball without understanding what basketball is and how others play it.
This comment connects directly to my point - depends on what you mean by appreciate. I'm pretty sure someone who had never seen another basketball player could still "value and admire" Michael Jordan's play, but could not "grasp the nature, worth, quality or significance" of it.
disagree, on what basis would someone admire or value another human running up and down the court dunking a basketball? even if you're just counting baskets, is scoring 40 points per game "good?" "great?" "average?"

how about a ballerina? perhaps that's a better example. a casual observer may witness the interesting - and perhaps physically impressive - movement of a very good high school dancing student. but only someone that has a deeper understanding and recognition (let's not use the word appreciate since it holds a normative connotation), would be able to evaluate her dancing and compare it to someone more accomplished.

i think where this thread starts off wrongly is to use the word "lesser" with regard to wines. it's not sufficiently accurate, but it's good enough. the fact remains, that having an elevated understanding of wine (or anything for that matter) requires exposure to many examples. preference is, of course, something else entirely.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#22 Post by Jeff Vaughan » January 8th, 2019, 10:55 am

Yes. I think it can work in the opposite direction, too. I mean appreciating the very good wines, from small family operations, that might be a tier down, but aren't all that far off the top wines in the class and are priced reasonably. I think you need to taste at all levels for context and understanding.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#23 Post by C Chen » January 8th, 2019, 11:02 am

Wine is like food. Some people are more inclined to do fine dining and seek better ingredients while others see food as just fuel where they don’t need high levels of refinement and pleasure. Same with wine. Some people just drink wine because it's wine-- they just want a nice buzz or something easy to drink and unwind with. No problem. Others see wine and treat it as they would with a serious food hobby-- they take it farther than the norm.

If you’re the person who chooses to take wine/food more seriously than the norm, then do you need to eat at casual restaurants to appreciate fine dining? No. You can even enjoy both. If you’re interested with better ingredients, chefs, and cooking methods (despite not even knowing them all), then eating at more mundane restaurants doesn't really do much for such a hobby. You should already know that white truffle served at a high-end establishment is far better than white truffle oil you get on everyday fries.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#24 Post by Anton D » January 8th, 2019, 11:10 am

C Chen wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:02 am
You should already know that white truffle served at a high-end establishment is far better than white truffle oil you get on everyday fries.
How would you know?
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#25 Post by ybarselah » January 8th, 2019, 11:11 am

Anton D wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:10 am
C Chen wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:02 am
You should already know that white truffle served at a high-end establishment is far better than white truffle oil you get on everyday fries.
How would you know?
what even is a truffle??
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#26 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 8th, 2019, 11:22 am

ybarselah wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:48 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:24 am
ybarselah wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:11 am
great can only be great in comparison to other things, so yes, of course. any argument to the contrary is inherently illogical. no one could possibly conclude michael jordan was good at basketball without understanding what basketball is and how others play it.
This comment connects directly to my point - depends on what you mean by appreciate. I'm pretty sure someone who had never seen another basketball player could still "value and admire" Michael Jordan's play, but could not "grasp the nature, worth, quality or significance" of it.
disagree, on what basis would someone admire or value another human running up and down the court dunking a basketball? even if you're just counting baskets, is scoring 40 points per game "good?" "great?" "average?"

how about a ballerina? perhaps that's a better example. a casual observer may witness the interesting - and perhaps physically impressive - movement of a very good high school dancing student. but only someone that has a deeper understanding and recognition (let's not use the word appreciate since it holds a normative connotation), would be able to evaluate her dancing and compare it to someone more accomplished.

i think where this thread starts off wrongly is to use the word "lesser" with regard to wines. it's not sufficiently accurate, but it's good enough. the fact remains, that having an elevated understanding of wine (or anything for that matter) requires exposure to many examples. preference is, of course, something else entirely.
For sure having an elevated understanding of anything requires exposure to many examples. I don't disagree for a minute. I do think you subtly changed the question, though, by making it about whether the person can recognize or evaluate wine as being great without context. To that question, I also completely agree - you can't say whether something is great without something to compare it to. But the OP didn't ask "can you tell it's great versus average or good, without tasting lesser examples?" They asked "can you appreciate it." The meaning of that word encompasses some other aspects than judging relative value, as I pointed out by listing the various usages. Under most, I think the answer is obviously yes. But under one, as I said, I think the answer is no.

I believe all the things we've mentioned, including wine and basketball players, can be appreciated, in the sense of valued and admired, on their own. You can sip your first wine and be moved/struck by it enough to both value and admire it, though I agree you don't have any legitimate basis for saying it's great. I also think that watching the movements of a talented athlete can be appreciated without knowing whether he scores more baskets than other people, because there is fundamental grace and control and beauty regardless of whether others have or don't have that much.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#27 Post by NoahR » January 8th, 2019, 11:24 am

Yes. I think we should have a National wB Day of Appreciation where we get together regionally and chug through a few bottles of Barefoot, 2 Buck Chuck, Apothic Red and Meiomi to keep us honest.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#28 Post by Subu Ramachandran » January 8th, 2019, 11:31 am

Appreciate - No
Value it - Yes

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#29 Post by Michael S. Monie » January 8th, 2019, 11:33 am

Only until you have your first epiphany wine. Then the process reverses with most wines not living up to that experience.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#30 Post by ky1em!ttskus » January 8th, 2019, 11:44 am

What’s that rule that every internet argument eventually ends up as an argument about semantics?

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#31 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 8th, 2019, 11:45 am

ky1em!ttskus wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:44 am
What’s that rule that every internet argument eventually ends up as an argument about semantics?
Depends what you mean by that. ;-)

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#32 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 8th, 2019, 11:48 am

Great discussion. Jeff asked my thoughts; I absolutely think you need context, but what the definition and the quality of that context is interesting.

The topic came up when one of my guests mentioned a very wealthy acquaintance who had just got into wine. He decided to go on a yearlong buying spree accumulating (and drinking) First Growths from top vintages, as well as large amounts of great Burgundy, starting with DRC and going on to Roumier, Coche, Rousseau etc etc. The question was whether just drinking top wines young and old could give him that context or should he have drunk their lesser wines, years or lesser producers?
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#33 Post by Mike Grammer » January 8th, 2019, 11:51 am

An excellent question. Pinging off of Todd's response, and borrowing one of my friend Heather's famous quotes, "yes but no but yes"

On an overall level, yes, I want to have "scale and scope" be a part of how and what I taste so that yes, when a wine is truly special, I will be able to, um, pick that up. BUT, there is an aspect to that which often interconnects directly with meditation and thinking about such a wine. There are times when I don't *want* to do that and rather want to simply enjoy an outgoing, simpler wine. Bottom-line, I guess my answer is reflected in my cellar. I do have a couple treasures. But I also have much lower-end stuff that I don't mind at all pulling out if it's the right time or circumstances to enjoy it.

Does that help?

Michael's comment just above is a worthy one as well, and somewhat of a danger to this idea. I like the reminder.


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Last edited by Mike Grammer on January 8th, 2019, 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#34 Post by Mike Grammer » January 8th, 2019, 11:52 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:45 am
ky1em!ttskus wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:44 am
What’s that rule that every internet argument eventually ends up as an argument about semantics?
Depends what you mean by that. ;-)
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#35 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 8th, 2019, 11:58 am

Mike Grammer wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:52 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:45 am
ky1em!ttskus wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:44 am
What’s that rule that every internet argument eventually ends up as an argument about semantics?
Depends what you mean by that. ;-)
You're in good form to start the year, Sarah! [dance-clap.gif]
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#36 Post by C Chen » January 8th, 2019, 12:00 pm

Anton D wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:10 am
C Chen wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:02 am
You should already know that white truffle served at a high-end establishment is far better than white truffle oil you get on everyday fries.
How would you know?
Not sure if serious, but https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/natio ... iceonomics
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#37 Post by ybarselah » January 8th, 2019, 12:06 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:58 am


Arguing with Yaacov always makes me want to bare my teeth in one way or another. (Love 'ya YB)
we actually agree on this one! the trip up is the use of "lesser" and "appreciate" they're both too loaded and undermine the fact that there are in fact benchmarks or standards for these things.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#38 Post by SteveG » January 8th, 2019, 12:06 pm

Since a bit of thread drift is inevitable with such a broad question...

On New Years' eve, we served our guests rack of lamb with this wine:

1999 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis (it was terrific!)
https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp? ... d=1B33ED22

Our guests enjoy wine, and have interest, but are far from hobbyists.

When drinking this, I stated that if you don't like this wine, then you just don't like Cote-Rotie...and maybe not Northern Rhone syrah. One of the guests responded something like "...then we don't know good wine?", so I tried to explain that rather what I was getting at was that I had tasted a decent amount of syrah, Rhone, Cote-Rotie...and that I thought this was an exemplary version...so that notwithstanding producer variation etc., if you don't like this wine then your personal taste just doesn't run towards Cote-Rotie, because this is a very good and typical one.

So I would just say that tasting broadly up and down the quality/reputation scale is necessary to form an educated opinion, just as is tasting a variety of grapes, regions, and vintages.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#39 Post by SteveG » January 8th, 2019, 12:10 pm

C Chen wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 12:00 pm
Anton D wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:10 am
C Chen wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:02 am
You should already know that white truffle served at a high-end establishment is far better than white truffle oil you get on everyday fries.
How would you know?
Not sure if serious, but https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/natio ... iceonomics
depends on where you get it:

https://www.oregontruffleoil.com/oregon ... -oz-bottle
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#40 Post by R. Frankel » January 8th, 2019, 12:16 pm

Good discussion, I especially want to ++ Sarah’s posts. In general I land on the ‘yes’ side.

Another key point is how variable our palates are. Your lesser is different from my lesser. Your epiphany wine is merely good to me. Sure there are extremes - DRC is nobody’s lesser wine. But unless we get into a semantic argument about whether lesser = price, the personal or subjective variability of wine tastes/experiences means that we each have the unique ability to figure out what is great to us. So I’d argue that in order to figure out what your great wines are, you need to try a lot of different ones. Aside from the rare billionaires who can dismiss those crappy lesser Rousseaus and stick with their Jayer and DRC, the rest of us benefit from trying many wines of varying quality, price, rarity, market demand, etc.

I don’t think you need to keep drinking particular lesser wines to maintain the ability to appreciate greatness. We’ll experience plenty of variability among the wines we like to keep our palates alive.

On the subject of regular appreciation of the good in our lives: I don’t believe that humans naturally lose their appreciation of regular experiences. For example, I have lived in San Francisco for over 30 years and still have ‘oh wow I’m so lucky to live here’ moments nearly every day.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#41 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 8th, 2019, 12:25 pm

ybarselah wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 12:06 pm
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:58 am


Arguing with Yaacov always makes me want to bare my teeth in one way or another. (Love 'ya YB)
we actually agree on this one! the trip up is the use of "lesser" and "appreciate" they're both too loaded and undermine the fact that there are in fact benchmarks or standards for these things.
Hope it's occasionally in a smile!

Agree with you on that, too - both the loaded and that standards parts.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#42 Post by Anton D » January 8th, 2019, 12:39 pm

C Chen wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 12:00 pm
Anton D wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:10 am
C Chen wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:02 am
You should already know that white truffle served at a high-end establishment is far better than white truffle oil you get on everyday fries.
How would you know?
Not sure if serious, but https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/natio ... iceonomics
Not serious. What I meant was, do you only eat great white truffles, or have you experienced lesser fungi and products?

How do you automatically know without a context?
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#43 Post by Cris Whetstone » January 8th, 2019, 12:42 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:13 am
I think the answer depends on what you mean by the word appreciate.

Two of the three dictionary definitions (Merriam-Webster) are: “to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of” and “to judge with heightened perception or understanding: to be fully aware of” (my italics). Under those definitions, then I think yes, absolutely. These definitions include elements of understanding and context, beyond simple enjoyment, which cannot come without comparison and broader expereince.

The other definition, however, is simply “to value or admire highly.” Under that definition, probably not. You can value and admire DRC even if it’s the only wine you’ve ever tasted, based solely on your isolated enjoyment of it.

I think the first two are much more deeply meaningful, though, and certainly support my experience. I find great joy in the learning aspects of this wine hobby, and have often advocated paths and approaches that encourage new collectors to explore in many ways. I am positive my own joy in great wine has sensory, emotional and intellectual components, none of which could be as impactful without context and broad experience.
This pretty well covers it for me. Especially the last paragraph.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#44 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » January 8th, 2019, 1:01 pm

No. But greater context leads to greater understanding/appreciation.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#45 Post by Michael S. Monie » January 8th, 2019, 1:20 pm

For me, the disparity in quality is most evident with Bordeaux. After you have had great (dare I say profound bottles) it's hard to be satisfied with the merely good ones. Of course since I've never had a great red Burgundy, I'm only speculating, but I wouldn't surprised if the disparity is even more apparent.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#46 Post by Jayson Cohen » January 8th, 2019, 1:24 pm

NoahR wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 11:24 am
Yes. I think we should have a National wB Day of Appreciation where we get together regionally and chug through a few bottles of Barefoot, 2 Buck Chuck, Apothic Red and Meiomi to keep us honest.
My father-in-law poured me a glass of Meiomi PN over the holidays. I’ve been kept honest.

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#47 Post by dsimmons » January 8th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Appreciate, sure ... I believe that without the perspective of tasting a broad spectrum of wine is would be possible to "appreciate" if you only drank top tier wines. However without the perspective of tasting a broad spectrum there would be no way to "value" top tier wines.
D o n

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#48 Post by lleichtman » January 8th, 2019, 2:47 pm

This is a tough question. Does drinking bad wine make you appreciate good wine more? Does drinking good wine make drinking average wines worse? From my perspective, maybe. I have had plenty of bad wine, usually brought to a party by someone who browsed at Trader Joes. I know the difference but then I started with drinking mediocre wine, Liebfraumilch, Mateus, Chianti in fiascos, etc. so drinking more bad wine would not be instructive. Drinking great wines does spoil you to the average ones though.
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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#49 Post by jeffruggels » January 8th, 2019, 2:53 pm

foe me this is a no brainer. I absolutely have a better appreciation for wines at all quality levels because i have enjoyed a wide range over the years

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Re: Do you need to drink lesser wines to appreciate the great ones?

#50 Post by Anton D » January 8th, 2019, 3:00 pm

Michael S. Monie wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 1:20 pm
For me, the disparity in quality is most evident with Bordeaux. After you have had great (dare I say profound bottles) it's hard to be satisfied with the merely good ones. Of course since I've never had a great red Burgundy, I'm only speculating, but I wouldn't surprised if the disparity is even more apparent.
Question: if you had started your wine journey with only "profound" bottles, would they have still been "profound?" If you only continued on with "profound" wines, would they have remained "profound?" Did the wine's profundity require a context, or would it have been equally "profound" on your 21st birthday as your first taste of wine?

That's the question I see.

Would the greatest sex of your life (or the greatest pizza) be as 'profound' without the 'lesser' sex (or pizza?) [cheers.gif]
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