Winebits 457: International style, binge drinking, ingredient labeling

international styleThis week’s wine news: The Italian Wine Guy makes sense about the International wine style, while kids drink too much and consumers want to know what’s in their wine

Here to stay: Those of us who appreciate terroir and that wine should taste like where it comes from don’t much care for the International style of winemaking, where the goal is to make every wine taste like came from Paso Robles. Yet there is more to the international style, writes Alfonso Cevola, the Italian Wine Guy. For all of its excesses, and Cevola has seen all of them, the international style means accessible wines that are clean and made without flaws, something that European producers have struggled with for centuries. We’re spoiled in the second decade of the 21st century, when technically correct wine is the rule. But it wasn’t that long ago – in my early drinking days – when it wasn’t unusual to buy a bottle of wine that had soured, turned, or was made so badly you didn’t want to drink it.

Kids will be kids: The “typical” British 25-year-old regularly experiences a blackout after drinking, according to a survey. The research found the respondents have blacked out five times after drinking alcohol since turning 18, with 17 per cent experiencing a blackout 10 times or more. And one than one-half of the 1,000 18- to 25-year-olds surveyed said they would probably do the same thing within a month. Sound hard to believe? Perhaps, and I’m a little wary of any survey commissioned by a TV network, as this was. Still, it jibes with what I’ve been told by several experts, who say the British have some serious social problems related to drinking.

Transparency: Just in time to reinforce last week’s post about nutrition and fact labels (and thanks for all the nasty emails), comes this from Nielsen: “Three-quarters of global respondents strongly or somewhat agree that they’re concerned about the long-term health impact of artificial ingredients. … In addition, 69% strongly or somewhat agree that foods without artificial ingredients are always more healthful, and just over half (52%) strongly or somewhat agree that foods and beverages with fewer ingredients are more healthful, with agreement even stronger in North America (61%).” But whatever you do, wine business, don’t tell consumers what’s in their wine. What do consumers know, anyway?

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