Monday musings today are about what to drink on different occasions and why wine professionals must be well-versed in mass market wines. This past weekend at my college reunion I was confronted with the usual challenge – drink average wine or switch to something else, in this instance average beer. While it usually is a non-choice for me, people often believe I won’t drink mass market wines. While I prefer something esoteric and unique, working in the industry I think it’s fundamental that one tastes all kinds of wine and most mass market ones. It’s useful both from a work standpoint but also from an educational one. It’s important to understand why some brands are universally liked and what the success factors are behind the brands. There are also some organizations that give blind tasting exams and often use these kinds of wines.
This past weekend, they offered Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Carbernet and Zinfandel as choices, all from California. Reflecting on that today, that is a lot of choice in a tent on the field in a college reunion where everyone is in shorts, listening to music and catching up with old friends.
Like everything in life, it all depends on context and I try to do my research and learn at every occasion.