That's the conclusion of Dan Berger, the pre-eminent wine critic and author. U.S. producers, particularly in California and particularly with red wine, are dumbing down the way their wine tastes. "Will you find varietal character in most wines? No, not any more," he wrote in his weekly newspaper column. Instead, "The result, over the past 20 years or so, has been a lot blander wine than I have ever seen, not to mention more alcoholic and less likely to go with food."
This is the same conclusion the Wine Curmudgeon reached when putting together the 2011 Hall of Fame. Too many wines, particularly if they were from California and particularly if they were red, were flabby and dull. So I called Berger (tasting, right), told him what I had found, and asked him what was going on.
"The joke used to be, among people who didn't like red wine, is that they didn't like red wine because it all tasted the same," says Berger. "Now, it's not a joke. They're right."
After the jump, why this is happening and what consumers can do about it: