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Quotable Wine Quotes of 2015

Quotes have relevance in a historical context because they tell us about the topics and controversies that are prevalent at a certain date in time. They also represent a gift that says plenty with few words.

“Can there be any other business where there’s so much bullshit?”....Carole Meredith, retired UC Davis professor and winemaker

“Wine writing attracts too many hobbyists and enthusiasts and too few people with writing talent. The writing problem isn’t confined to tasting notes. Tasting notes are symptomatic of a more generalized ailment: Most wine writing is lousy.”....Neil Beckett

“Wine critics and porn stars are hedonists who generally aren’t paid much for what they do but whose jobs confer significant non-monetary benefits.”....Mike Steinberger

“What we need more of now....are excellent and authoritative and punishing critics - perceptive enough to single out the voices that matter for legitimate praise, abusive enough to remind us that not everyone gets, or deserves, a gold star.”....Mike Steinberger

“Some people get really upset by wealthy people buying wineries and pretending they’re the winemaker. I think it’s a great social experiment that leads to redistribution of wealth.”....Randall Graham, winemaker

“The good news for growers, wineries and consumers is that the trend in California is towards picking fruit in less of a ridiculously overripe condition than was the practice during the last decade.”....Mark Greenspan, Harvest: The Final Vineyard Decision

“Too many wines today, including some that are seriously expensive, are interchangeable in taste and devoid of individual character.”....Matt Kramer

"When you understand the land and people, you appreciate the wine."....Christian Gourdin

“Matching a wine to the context in which it is to be drunk is more important than matching the wine with specific foods.”....Jacqueline Friedrich

“Does every winemaker and marketing person have to say about their single-vineyard wines, ‘I try to stay out of the way and let the vineyard speak for itself.’ What if its just a stupid vineyard?”....Ron Washam HMW

“People are buying wine as a wealth store....I buy wine to drink, because drinking wine gives me pleasure. Who knew the rich got as much pleasure from just looking at it?”....Jeff Siegel, The Wine Curmudgeon

“The wines that most capture my imagination seem inbred with a kind of meaning that no other beverage can match, their tastes conjuring cultural values that often tap into deep emotions.”....Elin McCoy

“Flavor descriptors have nothing to do with judgment. What you can find doesn’t necessarily correspond to what you conclude.”....Matt Kramer

“People are talking about wine in the context where it should be judged....Not in a roomful if wines....It’s at your dinner table, at your back patio, and that’s what I think is what I see is the Internet has brought us a delightful, lovely anarchy.”....Bo Barrett, Chateau Montelena

“Although wine professionals are interested in aspects of wine production such as vineyard location and enological processes, and often give priority to such information on the back label of fine wine bottles, wine consumers overall are not. Wine consumers appear far more driven by their notions of wine quality and image/brand, and their expectations of an enjoyable and pleasurable sensory experience.”....Wendy Parr

“No two bottles of wine sealed with corks will perform identically over time, the difference is infinitesimal at first, progressively becoming ever more evident over time.”....James Halliday

“Terroir is widely used with the connotation, ‘I’ve got it, while all you’ve got is dirt.”....David Schildknecht

“The brutal fact of the matter is that very few wine enthusiasts - and, arguably, still fewer professional critics - have anything more than the sketchiest understanding of the connection between land and wine.”....David Williams

“It is incredibly difficult, arduous and time-consuming to rack up the level of experience necessary to review and score wines with consistency.”....Lisa Perrotti-Brown

“Professional tasters will tell you that despite providing an occasional source of joy, tasting wines is hard work. It takes concentrated effort to get to grips with the liquid in the glass, to fix its character in mind and come to a judgment about its quality.”....Barry C. Smith

“When we sip and swallow a wine, we experience not its taste but its flavor, which is largely due to retronasal olfaction. The term flavor picks out something perceived conjointly by touch, taste and smell, and is used in sensory science to distinguish it from what is detected by taste proper (gustation).”....Barry C. Smith

“Brands are what drive people to buy wine - ratings don’t really sell wines.”....Ian Dorin, Wine Director, Wine Library, Springfield, N.J.

“When you understand the land and the people, you appreciate the wine.”....Christian Gourdin

“Great Wine is a wine that’s great at the moment. It’s the moment that makes the wine.” Ian Dorin, Wine Director, Wine Library, Springfield, N.J.

"I can’t easily think of a wine that steals my heart by wearing its alcohol on its sleeve.”....Hugh Johnson

“There is much in California wine that is not even remotely ‘Grande.’ At one extreme, winemakers are producing wines that are so sweet, alcoholic and oaky that they lose their identity completely: sometimes it is even a struggle to identify which grape they are made from.”....Dominic Fentou

“Ultimately I believe it’s incumbent on people who are scoring things in their professional fields to show a level of restraint and integrity in the way they rate things.”....Red & Green Wine Review

“All too often, a high price reflects relative scarcity rather than objective quality.”....Paul Gregutt

“Taking the alcohol listed on the label seriously is like believing the guy’s height or the woman’s weight on The wine is always going to be shorter and fatter than you expected.”....Ron Washam HMW

“Williams Selyem’s Summa and Rochioli Pinot, those wines stood up. They were a personal inspiration for me.”....Ted Lemon, winemaker, Littorai

“One of the descriptions of angels is that they’re the better side of people who never have to suffer. And that is what Pinot is about. Pinot suffers. That’s why these sites tend to be really fringe places where all kinds of terrible things happen: hailstorms and fog in August. You don’t grow great Pinot on the valley floor.”....David Hirsch, Hirsch Vineyards

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they hate Pinot Noir.”....Ron Washam HMW

“Dedicated Pinot Noir lovers have always seemed a breed themselves and endlessly revel in the smallest differences that terroir or even a few rows either way in a vineyard can make.”....Stephen Eliot

“If plants had a climate change ambassador akin to the animal kingdom’s polar bear, it would probably be Pinot Noir.”....Carrie Miller

“Think of it (Pinot Noir) as the Goldilocks of grapes, producing flabby and boring wine if it’s too hot, flat-out refusing to ripen if too cold, but creating magic in a glass when conditions are just right.”....Carrie Miller

“What happens when and if the predilection for Pinot gets even more widespread than it is? I can tell you. We will become Burgundy, and our Pinots will come with price tags not dissimilar to those now-discouragingly costly beauties from across the pond.”....Charles Olken

“Pinot Noir is the capricious and precocious child that rewards humility and patience. Harvest each unique vineyard with your best tuition, protect the wine from evil, allow it to express itself with a minimum of interference, trust is providence.”....Mitch Richmond, former Bouchaine winemaker

“Pinot Noir has a longer, narrower pollen tube. It’s harder for the pollen granule to get down the shoot and fertilize the seed. That’s probably why Pinot Noir has its reputation as the heartbreak grape. It needs ideal conditions to set fruit: good airflow, good sunlight but not too much.”....Prudy Foxx, viticulturist

“Of all the places in the world that grow Pinot Noir with high typicity, the Tamor Valley in Tasmania is the coolest and the Russian River Valley is the warmest - and with the climate warming, there’s potential for even bigger and bolder wines.”....Greg V. Jones

“You can grow Chardonnay in a parking lot in Fresno; not Pinot Noir.”....Brice Cutrer Jones, Emeritus

“There’s more climatic variation in Western Sonoma County than anywhere else in the world.”....Paul Sloan, Small Vines Wines

“It is admittedly simplistic to say that Cabernet is a hedonistic pleasure and Pinot is an intellectual pleasure. Both varieties provide plenty of enjoyment across all fronts. But, the reason Pinot is the most demanding wine on the tasting table is that we simply have to work harder to search out those very nuances that then make the variety so special on our dining table.”....Charles Olken

“Fine old Burgundy smells, among other more divine things, like the crotch of a woman you love so much you want to consume her.”....Terry Theise

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