'Signs' of the times

I delivered some Syrah to my good friends at Navarro yesterday. Quite a few tasting rooms have popped up over the past 3-4 years. The latest thing now is to see a sandwich board sign out in front of a tasting room stating ‘91+ Pinot Tasting Today’. I saw at least 3 of these in a 5 mile stretch.

I joked with the folks at Navarro that they need one saying ‘113 Point Pinot Tasting Tomorrow’ or something silly like that.

Seriously, how many folks walk in asking to taste only the 90+ wine and nothing else?

Look how many people buy the ocean of Spanish reds with a nice WA 90+ sign at Costco. I would imagine that it stops quite a few cars.

Casey–Maybe the sign meant that you had to be at least 91 years old to taste the wine? Or that the wine was being served at a temperature no less than 91 degrees?


Seriously, I bet a lot.

People buy points…even the wineries have to admit it. They cannot even sell it on the merits.

Pts or cost. I’ve been to countless tastings where people only want to try the “expensive” wines.

They taste the expensive wines, purchase the cheap ones!

They also, according to Chenin and Sean Carlton of Basket Case Wines, like to talk dry and drink sweet. After two years of telling people, “Sorry, but we don’t have any sweet wine,” they bottled two '07s that are off dry - or sweet depending upon who you are. I think they’re around 2.5% RS and they sell like crazy, even to the people who don’t ask for something sweet.

if it gets people into their tasting room and trying their wines, more power too them…its tough competition out there, and people are looking for any advantage they can get…if its big scores, case specials, wine and cheese pairing or whatever, they need to advertise it some way…to the average person on a wine country getaway, these things pique their interest…think of 'em as life sized shelf talkers

fwiw, I see this type of stuff all the time on may way too and from work

Don’t even get me started Bob but I am happy that “Stumbling Block” has worked for them.

I still remember vividly, working in a tasting room in Rutherford, numerous customers turning their noses up at our Sauvignon Blanc, dismissing it as sweet. The SB was dryer than any red. I still ask people to describe the smell of sugar when calling a dry wine sweet. As far as I can tell, a bag of C&H still smells neutral but the pre-conditioned notions we carry along tell our brains the sugar content before taking a taste. I.e. honey, melon, etc. is sweet. A classic rendition of Pavlov’s dogs.

Isn’t it true that alcohol itself can impart a dimension of sweetness?

particularly sad in The Anderson Valley and Navarro as there are so many reasonably priced/unreviewed wines to be tried there that are simply so good.