Por George Sandeman

Although making something great “again” implies that it isn’t that great at the moment, the reality is that wine has never been better. The quality, I mean.

With the advances of knowledge in vineyard management, winemaking and a better understanding of consumer preferences, it is very rare to find “bad wine” these days. True, there are still some defective wines around but the overall quality is greater than it ever has been and I tend to divide them into one of two categories: “dull” and “interesting”... but let me not digress!

Most of us see wine through the label, and although increasingly there is more useful information on this label, very often when selecting a wine, we will choose a known brand or an attractive label (which evolve over time like fashion…flowers, birds, trees, faces, artistic colourful designs and so on).

However, how many times do we think about the wine sector behind that label? I don’t mean the narrative about the winemaker’s dog, but rather, the culture, the structure, the association with history and with food.

Let’s go back to the beginning; wine come from grapes, grapes grow on vines planted in the ground (alot on land where nothing else can be cultivated), farmed by people whose communities exist because of their work and their production.

Grapes – often harvested by hand – are skilfully made into wines reflecting the soil and varieties planted. Combined with the characteristic climate of the region, the resulting wines become a unique example of the terroir of their origin.

Historically wines developed as a match to the traditional dishes with which they were consumed. Tannic red wine for oily or fatty foods and crisp white wines for grilled fish and seafood.

The millions of tourists who travel around Europe, seek out these classical combinations between the discovery of national culture and monuments. Those who cannot travel to the origins, discover about the culture and terroir by enjoying the wines which are exported to their countries. Curiously one in two bottles of wine enjoyed in the world has crossed at least one boarder!

However, recently we have seen more and more disinformation, regarding wine drinking. Much of this is being generated by a temperance movement driven by the World Health Organization who would like to see an end to all “alcohol”.

Although wine does contain a minority component of alcohol, which undoubtedly will harm you if abused, let’s be clear, when consumed in moderation with a meal, wine can be part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

So why is the WHO so adamant in its attack on the socio-economic survival of a way of life , a rural economy and its communities, and the culture of wine, disproportionately affecting a significant population, without proven scientific evidence?

Wine is more than terroir. It is culture, community, gastronomy, rural economy and social interaction. In moderation, wine is great!

Note: The opinions expressed in EX AMPULLA “Out of the Bottle” BLOG are exclusively my responsibility.
You can visit www.wineinmoderation.eu for more information on moderate and responsible wine drinking.