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Quotable Wine Quotes of 2018

Quotes have relevance in an historical context because they tell us about the topics and controversies that are prevalent at a certain year in time. They also represent a gift that says plenty with few words. Here are the most notable quotes related to Pinot Noir and wine in general that captured my attention in 2018.

Regarding Pinot Noir

“I would so marry Pinot. You can enjoy it at the opera, or the baseball game. It glistens in any crystal goblet but dazzles in a jelly jar. It’s exactly the kind of wine you’d bring home to mom and then sneak into your room after dinner. Before you blinked, you’d both be on the front porch (you on the swing, it in your glass) waiting for your grandkids to show up.”….Jeff Bundschu, Gundlach Bundschu Winery

“Everyone wants to crack Pinot, both because it’s a sign of winemaking and viticultural prowess, but also because there is such a strong market for the variety.”….anonymous

“Burgundy won’t be making Pinot Noir in 20-40 years as it will be too hot; they’ll be making Syrah and still Pinot production will move to Champagne and England.”….Chester Osborn, Australian winemaker

“When I hear the comment, ‘Your wines are so Burgundian,’ I usually wave it off as gently as possible. If my wine tastes like Burgundy, that means I’m making wines that do not respect the site - which is actually a bit of an insult - the remark does sandpaper my soul a bit.”….Jason Lett, winemaker, The Eyrie Vineyard

“No longer do you hear Oregon winemakers talk about Oregon wines as Burgundian. Nor are California or Kiwi winemakers either. The world of wine has moved on from this old paradigm.”….Josh Bergstrom, winemaker, Bergstrom Winery

“There are attributes that differentiate the sub AVA’s (of the Willamette Valley). Volcanic regions tend to be more fruit driven, whether red, blue or black fruits. Clean and crisp. Focused. Sedimentary sites are more savory, floral and spice driven.”….Ken Wright, winemaker, Ken Wright Cellars

“Pinot Noir is a buzzword for people who want to get into wine and know it’s what professionals are drinking.”….Amy Racine, sommelier

“The musk, sweat and tears that occasionally crops up in wine descriptions suggest affinities with human pheromones. Such connections have received tentative chemical validation, resulting in wishful speculations about Pinot Noir’s potential for subliminal seduction.”….David Schildknecht, The World of Fine Wine

“I think in ten years or less clone 95/117 of Pinot Noir will become the backbone of Oregon Pinots.”….Dick Erath

“Now there is no excuse for not being well red.”….Chapter 24 Vineyards

“You have to search hard to find a wine made in Oregon that’s done poorly. but the problem is, they’re all so similar.”….Randall Grahm

Regarding Wine In General

“A Riedel glass whose shape is matched to a wine is usually a small percentage better, but life is just too short to have lots of slightly different but similar glasses.”….Jancis Robinson, British wine critic and journalist

“I would be delighted if the ‘sulfites-in-red-wine-cause-headaches’ trend would go away. Sensitivity to sulfites can trigger a reaction, but it is an asthmatic reaction, not a headache. I think likelier conclusions for wine headaches are high residual sugar, high tannins, or dehydration.”….Jessica Norris, Senior Director of Wine Education, Del Frisco Double Eagle Steakhouse

“Since an ingredient list isn’t required on wine labels, the average shopper might not realize that their go-togrocery store wine has up to 75 ingredients other than grapes. These wines comes from huge swaths of land, particularly in California and Provence, with ‘terroir’ barely suitable for even vegetables.”….Victoria James

“There is little awareness, for instance, of the wide economic disparity that has been created in the past quarter-century between the middle class who actually make many of the best wines and the upper class who, today, are the only ones that can afford them. There’s little acknowledgement of the ranks of everyday workers who make the industry run. For that matter, we manage to ignore that it’s a world still guided by powerful white men, stark in its lack of diversity.”….Jon Bonné, writer, author and journalist

“The hard part for new people getting into the wine business today is the limited amount of land that’s available at very expensive prices. Then people are stuck with purchasing grapes…if you have to buy grapes and try to make great wines out of purchased grapes, it’s a lot harder than if you control your destiny and can make the wine from the ground up.”….Merry Edwards, winemaker, Merry Edwards Wines

“The picking starts at midnight and continues until sunrise. The fruit comes into the winery in waves, where it is hand-sorted, de-stemmed and moved into open-top tanks. Punch downs happen around the clock. There is coffee, so much strong coffee. There’s that moment when your shoes are still soaked from processing fruit the morning prior (or was it the day before that?), and you start to wonder if it’s possible to sleep on a forklift. And on top of it all, we have to miss the first four weekends of college football.”….Andrew Delos, winemaker, EnRoute

“A simple black-and-white view that low alcohol is good and higher alcohol is bad doesn’t reflect the complex reality of producing terroir-driven wines.”….Jamie Goode, The World of Fine Wine

“Taste refers to the senses inside our mouth including our tongue. Aroma occurs inside our noses and relates to our sense of smell. Flavor is when taste and aroma converge.”….Oregon Wine Almanac 2018

“Minerality is a family of aromas including wet stones, rock quarry, chalk, sea breeze (salinity) and flint….It is most apparent in white wines….It is one of the new frontiers of wine description.”….Dwight Furrow

“Price tells you almost nothing about quality (of wine). Forces such as land and grape costs, fashion and hype determine the cost of a wine as much as anything else.”….Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator

“Old vines know better. There’s something special about them that winemakers love. They tend to selfregulate.”…. Eric Lavmann, winemaker, Cambiata Winery

“Any wine lover who is tired of Chardonnay is tired of life.”….Patrick Schmitt

“Old vines are the real McCoy.”….Josh Jensen

Regarding Wine Writers/Critics

“Giving a wine a score - a hard and fast number to hang around its neck like a noose - does nothing positive for the wine industry. It infantilizes our decision-making and hogties us from being able to discover what we like about certain wines.”….Katie Finn, sommelier

“When judging, even for international competitions, I think in terms of medals: for a Bronze, I’d drink a glass or two in a pub; for Silver, I’d share a bottle with my husband over dinner; for Gold, I’d keep the whole bottle for myself!….a comment by “Helena” on Tom Wark’s Fermentation The Daily Wine Blog

“How wood-based aromatics and flavors developed as a nearly mandatory component of any red wine that purports to be of high quality (and thus is expensive) is a complicated tale. But some reviewers are so smitten with oak they lavish praise on wines that have almost no grape or wine aromas.”….Dan Berger, The Press Democrat

“Paul Masson once said, ‘I don’t care how a wine tastes, I care about how a wine drinks.’ The meaning is that the last glass is the best glass…that wine should evolve over the course of an evening. This is meaningful because wine criticism today is only a brief sniff-sip-spit regimen. One cannot truly appreciate a wine’s true qualities and future potential without spending an evening with it.”….Jeffrey Patterson, winemaker, Mount Eden Vineyards

“The difference between entering a wine for competition versus submitting a wine for professional review is, then, essentially the same as the difference between prostitution and marriage. A winery pays a fee for every wine submitted to be judged in a competition. This is contrary to wines submitted for professional review which are provided for free.”….Ron Washam, MW

“A neutral setting is key to correct wine scoring.”….Wine Enthusiast

“Our current fascination with wine expertise - and, often, the wine experts themselves - has actually made it harder to enjoy wine.”….John Bonné, writer, author and journalist

“Despite the fact that dozens of wine books continue to be published each year, those that make a profit must be far and few between. For many wine writers, their purpose is to raise their profile and credibility, and in many cases purely to satisfy a creative urge.”….anonymous

“No matter how carefully or honestly someone describes a taste, a significant chunk of the population will experience the same bottle in a different way.”….Kevin Begos, Tasting the Past

“I am not about to recommend the wine writing path to budding enthusiasts of the written word.”….Joe Roberts 1WineDude

“The fact is there are a lot of talented, dedicated people writing about wine despite the lack of remuneration. Some of that writing is well informed and of high quality. Wine writing is one of those activities, like acting, painting, or writing novels, that people want to do for its intrinsic value, not because of an external reward.”….DwightFurrow

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