Wednesday, June 01, 2005
this one's gonna lose me some friends, but the truth will out.
My recent trip to a wine region of California made me think of the experience of a certain friend of mine, who would sometimes introduce the subject of wine at cocktail parties. Invariably someone would bring up the concept of terroir, that ineffable combination of soil and climate and tradition and je ne sais quoi that gives certain great French vineyards their cachet. He would always try to counter their assertions with the results of his own research into grape types and modern viticulture methods, as well as the actual drinkability of the products of pedigreed and unpedigreed vineyards--but to no avail. He found that anyone who would bring up terroir was immune to logic, and eventually he learned to avoid such conversations entirely; in short, he made it his policy not to negotiate with terroir-ists.