gravatar

Jamie Goode: "There’s a coming Wine War" (interview)


I'm not going to advertise Jamie Goode too much, I'm sure you're aware he is one of the top winebloggers in the world and also a celebrated author and scientist. So I was excited when he sais yes to a brief interview. It's wine on brief, remember? 
(Romanian version here)

George Mitea: You are a well known wine-writter and blogger. But you are also a celebrated scientist. Your acclaimed work  “Wine science: the application of science in winemaking” is reference to many young winemakers and wine lovers. For the general public, I ask you, how should a good wine be made? Where is the thin line between industrial product and artisanal, crafted work of art?

Jamie Goode: I think you judge the wine on its results. Does it taste authentic? Does it express the site well? Is it an interesting, complex wine? The problem with many natural guys is that they are obsessed by the process. The process only matters if it helps winegrowers make good wine. Intention matters: if your intention is to make interesting, characterful wine with a sense of place, then you will choose tools that help you accomplish this.

GM: Parker said that we never tasted so much good wine as nowadays.  But there is a downside to it, we all know it.  I mean we taste all these jammy 90 pointers from Chile, Australia, even Spain or south of France that are very much alike despite being made from obvious different varieties.  Is there any way back from this “globalization” of taste?

JG: Yes, because there’s a generation of wine people emerging who love terroir and despise big international wines. Go to any wine region and you’ll find some people making interesting wine. Yes, bad wines still exist, and there’s a problem with over ripeness, but the good news is that people are aware of this, talking about it, and complaining about it.

GM: I know sustainable agriculture and natural wines are in our area of interest (a very good read in this respect is your Authentic Wine, co-written by Sam Harrop).  Do you regard the natural wines/terroir oriented movement as a passing thing or it will eventually grow and split the world of wine in two (big-globalized vs small-authentic)?

JG: I think there’s a coming wine war where vested interests, big money, will feel the threat from authentic terroir growers. It’s already evident in some wine publications who turn on natural wines and fawn at the feet of expensive Bordeaux properties and super-Tuscans. I think there is a split in the world of wine, yes.

GM: Do you think the plantations are spreading too fast and in regions that are not traditionally considered favorable? I mean Brazil, India, China…To me is sounds like growing oranges in Greenland. Not like there is a monopoly on vine-growing, but still…

JG: I’m open minded. If they can find interesting terroirs and make the wine sympathetically, then great. I think some bad wines have emerged, but there’s plenty of bad wine made in Bordeaux, Tuscany and Burgundy.

GM: Very few American wines are to be found in my country. Is US wine that good as seen on supplements like top 100 Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, etc., or those publications just back their national industry?

JG: Some great wines are being made in the USA, along with some bad ones. Sometimes the bad ones are really expensive.  There are style issues, for sure. But there are quite a few terroir-inspired growers making really interesting things.

GM: Romanian wine.  Tasted any lately? Liked any? Now, don’t be afraid to hurt our feelings

JG: Not for a year or two. I need to explore more. The ones I have tasted have mostly been solid commercial wines. Romania undoubtedly has some really interesting terroirs and there’s no reason it couldn’t make great wines.

GM: Are indigenous varieties the way out in the big world for a long struggling but stronger by the year wine industry like Romania’s? Or it’s just a cliché in the minds of obsolete, tired wine enthusiasts like myself?

JG: Depends on the price point. For fine wines, yes, indigenous varieties, provided you have good ones, are the way to go. For cheap wines to be sold in supermarkets, perhaps blends of a local variety plus and international one is the way to go.

GM: And finally. Do you think  Facebook  and Twitter are killing the blogs?

JG: I think they have taken quite a bit of attention away from blogs, but I have found them an excellent communication tool alongside my blog.