Ever play Golf? It’s the ultimate Gentleman’s game. Gentlemen being used in the term best associated with integrity, honesty and sportsmanship. Not in the term of sexism, plenty of women can beat the pants off of many men, but the word gentlewomen, well it sounds strange. Anyway golf and wine both have had a long history of honesty and integrity it’s you against the odds, Mother Nature rearing her head leaving you alone against only yourself. If you cheat at golf you only cheat yourself unless you’re playing for money than your, well, just a cheat. But let’s say you kick your ball for a better lie or don’t count the first shot off the tee box instead opting for a mulligan. You come in and card an 88 that should have been a 94. You brag about it to your buds but in the end you know you cheated and it achieved nothing for the effort, except being dishonest.
Wine has become in many cases a cheat! Producers lying about how they make their wine, what oak they use, alcohol levels and the list is extreme. Why do they do this? Because many of the methods like low yields and barrel selection are very expensive pursuits. Many of your better wines do such things,(that’s many not all) and if you say you did it too, well you look better. But the proof will always be in the bottle and you will be found out soon enough. It’s not only limited to the makers of wine it’s creeped into the collection of wine with all the counterfeiters out there. The auction houses not stepping up and telling their good customers when they found someone out! Their policy, sell the wine and screw the party that bought it! What about the wine writers then? I have never seen a retraction on a writers web page or publication after the cellar they were drinking out of was found to be mostly fakes. No, they would never do so. What would that do to their credibility if giving a 97 point score to a bottle of swill? Their pallet forever questioned. Better to be quiet keep taking people’s money for the publication. How could we respect his scores on anything? Why does this matter?
If you buy wine at auction and its fake don’t you think you have been taken? If you buy wine because a writer says it’s good and it’s crap don’t you think you have been taken? If you buy wine from a merchant or Winery and your told it’s this or that only to find out it’s not, don’t you think you have been taken? I sure would? I ask you another question, what if a bottle of wine says 13% alcohol but in reality it’s 15 or 16% alcohol. You drink a few glasses thinking with such a low percentage that you’re O.K. to drive only later you wake up the guest of the local Law Enforcement. I would suspect you would be a little upset, not to mention your life turned upside down.
Ever hear the term this is a pure wine, an honest wine, wine with integrity! Yes there are producers who are all of that and they make great wine, but I’m here to tell you they’re becoming few and far between. They are cheating you and they are cheating themselves becoming more and more delusional with every turn. Sometimes supported by the mighty pen, from so called self proclaimed experts in the form of wine writers. Some may end up at auction for the sale and sold with no remorse. It’s sickening and I hope more of us stop and call the cheats out! We will be a better community for it and we will regain the high road, our honesty, our integrity. I know our customers would appreciate the effort. I certainly realize how difficult it would be to visit every producer you like, especially if not living in California. But short of asking for a barrel receipt, or tonnage report not sure how you get there. No you will always have to navigate that mine field yourself, with your palate and believe that the cheaters will be caught.
Let’s all play a Gentleman’s Game,