A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Brian Gilp » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:39 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Thomas wrote:To further your point: the Gallo family always had a passion for quality as well as for commercialism.

Umm.

I can't speak for Gallo but I worked for a winery many years ago when I was in Indiana that had to produce a semi-sweet muscat to stay in business. It was understood that it was this wine that paid the bills and that allowed them to make the wines they wanted to make. We sold more of that wine than everything else combined. So the only way for the winery to make a wine of passion was to make a commercial wine which honestly the winemaker really did not like.
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:45 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:I can't speak for Gallo but I worked for a winery many years ago when I was in Indiana that had to produce a semi-sweet muscat to stay in business. It was understood that it was this wine that paid the bills and that allowed them to make the wines they wanted to make. We sold more of that wine than everything else combined. So the only way for the winery to make a wine of passion was to make a commercial wine which honestly the winemaker really did not like.

Would that have been Oliver, Brian? Dr. Oliver made that story famous! :lol:

Of course this is true, too, of almost every winery in "non-traditional" areas. Heck, even some of the wineries in "traditional" areas still make sweet White Zin to pay the bills. I get that.

I still see a difference, though, between corporations - not just wine corporations - that are indebted to the quarterly balance sheet and those that are willing to sacrifice some of that to pursue a higher dream.
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Thomas » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:08 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Thomas wrote:To further your point: the Gallo family always had a passion for quality as well as for commercialism.

Umm.


If you doubt it, you ought to check with the many winemakers and wine marketers in California and beyond who trained at Gallo.

Even when they made a "pop" wine, it had to be a superior "pop" wine.

Methinks you are exposing a bias that is as equally questionable as the manifesto we are supposedly discussing...
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Brian Gilp » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:13 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Would that have been Oliver, Brian? Dr. Oliver made that story famous!

Nope. Chateau Thomas when there was just the one location in downtown Indy. The tasting room in Nashville changed the business substantially. I can believe that Oliver had a same situation.
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Thomas » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:38 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:
Thomas wrote:To further your point: the Gallo family always had a passion for quality as well as for commercialism.

Umm.

I can't speak for Gallo but I worked for a winery many years ago when I was in Indiana that had to produce a semi-sweet muscat to stay in business. It was understood that it was this wine that paid the bills and that allowed them to make the wines they wanted to make. We sold more of that wine than everything else combined. So the only way for the winery to make a wine of passion was to make a commercial wine which honestly the winemaker really did not like.


Brian:

This same story is told at most small wineries in the Finger Lakes and in fact, I had to do the same thing when I operated my winery. Wine geeks don't fully understand that they make up a truly minor percentage of the wine-consuming public, and that the wine industry isn't about them.That's partly why wine prices of the passionate producers have to be high.
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Steve Slatcher » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:50 pm

Yet for top Burgundy Domaines, people are persuaded to take the more modest wines by offering allocations of the best ones. So which are the commercial wines there? It's a funny old business.
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Victorwine » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:23 am

Wines are a unique commodity, in the sense that a bottle could cost thousands of dollars and it could be called wine, another could sell for just ten dollars and it to could be called wine.

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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Dale Williams » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:11 am

Victorwine wrote:Wines are a unique commodity, in the sense that a bottle could cost thousands of dollars and it could be called wine, another could sell for just ten dollars and it to could be called wine.


By definition if there is significant price differentiation a product is not a commodity.
I agree with a lot of what Jamie says, but agree there is little/nothing new (or especially controversial) there.
I also agree the two uses of commercial are a bit hard to reconcile. I wonder if he is using the term to mean "brand name " wines- you can have "top quality" wines that are divorced from a particular terroir.
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Thomas » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:47 am

Dale Williams wrote:
Victorwine wrote:Wines are a unique commodity, in the sense that a bottle could cost thousands of dollars and it could be called wine, another could sell for just ten dollars and it to could be called wine.


By definition if there is significant price differentiation a product is not a commodity.
I agree with a lot of what Jamie says, but agree there is little/nothing new (or especially controversial) there.
I also agree the two uses of commercial are a bit hard to reconcile. I wonder if he is using the term to mean "brand name " wines- you can have "top quality" wines that are divorced from a particular terroir.


Here are some definitions for "commodity:"

Something useful that can be turned to commercial or other advantage
Something that is bought and sold
An article of trade or commerce, especially an agricultural or mining product that can be processed and resold
An article of commerce especially when delivered for shipment
A mass-produced unspecialized product
A class of goods for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Dale Williams » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:52 pm

Yes, I know that in conversational English people use "commodity" for anything that can be sold. But the fact that wine is sold is scarcely news to anyone here, so I assumed the the term was being used in a sense that it used in business/economics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity
The exact definition of the term commodity is specifically applied to goods . It is used to describe a class of goods for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. A commodity has full or partial fungibility; that is, the market treats its instances as equivalent or nearly so with no regard to who produced the

If someone is not using that definition,and instead is using commodities as a synonym for "goods", then the statement that wine is unique because a bottle can be called wine at different price levels is just as confusing. Are there not watches, cars, shirts, suits, bicycles, stoves, tables, diamonds, olive oil, vinegars, TVs, and tens of thousands of other products that have enormous variance in price?

There might be some level on which wine is traded as a commodity on the very low end of the market (I thinking for bulk wines there might be contracts for X hectoliters of red wine min abv of 12%? I don't know). I do think there are commodity style contracts for grapes in CA (again, with some defining minimum standards for type and brix). All commodities assume some minimum standards (pork bellies can't be untrimmed or rotting!). And of course many commodity products have specialty versions that command higher prices (coffee is obvious, heirloom pigs obviously sell for more than tons of frozen bellies, fleur du sel, etc etc).
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Victorwine » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:09 pm

Hi Dale,
Looking at wine as a commodity (or good) from a marketing standpoint aren’t we looking at two distinct commodities? The grapes themselves being an agricultural commodity (crop), and the wine being a “manufactured or processed’ commodity derived from the agricultural commodity grapes. In comparing the price of fresh apples, applesauce, and apple juice there is a price difference but I wouldn’t call it significant. But yet in comparing the price of fresh grapes, grape juice and wine you could see a drastic difference. (This is what I meant by unique- wine possible being the most expensive and creative thing that we make from grapes. I wouldn’t expect to see a $990.00 dollar price difference between two apple pies).

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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:39 pm

I've usually used the dichotomy of industrial vs. artisanal, which focuses on process rather than intent. While that dichotomy is also not free of contradictions, if one chooses to focus on practice rather than scale, one can use such practices as the use of oak chips, powdered tannins and MegaPurple as hallmarks of "industrial" winemaking.

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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:42 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Of course this is true, too, of almost every winery in "non-traditional" areas. Heck, even some of the wineries in "traditional" areas still make sweet White Zin to pay the bills. I get that.


And let's not forget Joel Peterson's dubbing of the "Vintner's Reserve" Zin as "Chateau Cash Flow" :P

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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Thomas » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:04 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:I've usually used the dichotomy of industrial vs. artisanal, which focuses on process rather than intent. While that dichotomy is also not free of contradictions, if one chooses to focus on practice rather than scale, one can use such practices as the use of oak chips, powdered tannins and MegaPurple as hallmarks of "industrial" winemaking.

Mark Lipton


The other day my wife pointed out a book that was written in Britain in the 1820s. The writer complained about adulterated wine. One of the adulterations was sawdust from oak.

I'm getting a copy of the book and will make a book report after I've read the whole thing, but I already know one thing: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Oliver McCrum » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:32 pm

Love to hear the details, Thomas.
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Steve Slatcher » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:25 pm

Thomas, was the book "The Wine Drinker's Manual"? There is a whole chapter on adulteration there, but on a quick scan through I could see nothing about sawdust. It has apparently recently been re-printed but you can get it electronically on google books.

Oh, and here is my attempt at a Wine Manifesto :) http://www.winenous.co.uk/wp/archives/4881
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Isaac » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:34 pm

Steve, I like yours a lot better than Jamie's.
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Thomas » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:09 pm

Steve Slatcher wrote:Thomas, was the book "The Wine Drinker's Manual"? There is a whole chapter on adulteration there, but on a quick scan through I could see nothing about sawdust. It has apparently recently been re-printed but you can get it electronically on google books.

Oh, and here is my attempt at a Wine Manifesto :) http://www.winenous.co.uk/wp/archives/4881


Steve,

That is the book. I looked into it and found a quick reference to sawdust in a list of other adulterations. I did look at that book years ago while researching for one of my books, but had forgotten the title.

Essentially, the adulteration of wine has been a problem for centuries. There really is nothing new under the sun, er, vineyard. Only the types of adulterations have changed. Certainly, the recent wine scandal perpetrated on, among others, one of the Koch brothers proves the point.

...and yes, your manifesto is non-judgmental, factual, and even manages to reach objectivity!
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Re: A wine manifesto by Jamie Goode.

Postby Victorwine » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:51 pm

Steve wrote;
“was the book "The Wine Drinker's Manual"? There is a whole chapter on adulteration there, but on a quick scan through I could see nothing about sawdust. It has apparently recently been re-printed but you can get it electronically on google books.”

Thanks for the heads up Steve! Interesting read indeed! While reading it, (on and off as I cleared the snow from the blizzard that hit the Northeast of the US), I had to keep reminding myself it was written for wine drinkers of the mid 1800’s in England. I found the section on wine storage and cellaring of wine quite interesting. It discussed managing wine stored in wood. Seems like the majority of wine drinkers had to bottle their wines (or prepare them for serving, “work” their wines prior to bottling).

BTW Good job on your “manifesto”.
Maybe as a result of the Kurniawan trial, a “revised” edition of “adulterate wines” will be written.

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