Bring on the cheap wine; who else but the WC can identify it blind in a competition?
Is it possible to know too much about cheap wine? That’s what happened to the Wine Curmudgeon during last month’s judging in the TexSom International Wine Awards.
We did a blind tasting of a sauvignon blanc in a category called “Multiple countries, all other white varieties,” which is about as odd and unusual a category as possible. But I thought I knew what the wine was, since it’s my fate to know more about cheap wine than almost anyone else in the world.
“That must be the Yellow Tail sauvignon blanc,” I said. “They blend New Zealand sauvignon blanc with sauvignon blanc from Australia. It wasn’t bad the last time I had it.”
The other three judges, each of whom was incredibly accomplished and who I liked and enjoyed tasting with, looked at me as if I was babbling baby gibberish. And why not? Yellow Tail is probably not something they drink regularly, and there is no reason why they should. And they probably didn’t expect to be judging with someone who could identify cheap wine the same way they can recognize a bottle of high-end cabernet sauvignon from California’s Santa Cruz Mountains (which they did during our judging).
So when the competition results were announced last week, the sauvignon blanc in the “Multiple countries, all other white varieties” category was, in fact, the Yellow Tail (which got a bronze medal). How many people in the world who don’t work for Yellow Tail would have been able to identify the wine just from the category?
I will leave it for you to decide if that’s a good or a bad thing.