Wine Intelligence part 2: the Myth of the Heavy Hitter

Barry-B.jpgHeavy hitter wines have big names. Sometimes they have long traditions. They are almost always one of the 3 most popular varietals – cab, pinot, chardonnay. Of course, heavy hitter wines, like their counterparts in baseball, do not always get the big hit. Barry Bonds comes to mind. In fact, Barry Bonds is a great metaphor for what often happens when you pop the cork on a heavy hitter wine. It fails to impress. Barry’s best years are long gone yet he still plans to play one more year. His name is worth everything…in Frisco. He couldn’t interest any other team when he tried free agency a few years back. The owner of the HH wine cannot wait to show off his trophy…but his audience is necessarily limited to other trophy hunters. For the trophy hunter 10 to 20 years is too long to wait for the wine to mature and 50 years is far too long to proclaim the wine’s “greatness” (another totally silly standard by which heavy hitters are judged). Sort of like the Babe’s home run record. The Babe was good for 50 years then he gets busted three times in 15. Kind of cheapens the whole idea of the “heavy hitter”. Why do we need these trophies? Because they ground us, providing a firm foundation from which we can approach the world? (more…)

Sideways in Paso Robles

My dear Cuban amigo and muy talented artist Iggy-tones writes: “Lately I’ve been traveling up to Shell Beach in the Central Coast because I currently have for sale a two bedroom house that I own. The house is a block and a half from the shore. The whole area of the Central Coast is growing grapes. Do you have some recommendation of interesting wines and wineries to visit on one of my trips there?” (more…)