So what is Fine Wine?
Not for the first time I'm asking myself the question – what is fine wine? As a non- expert but keen learner and a lover of wine it can be confusing to sort through the cornucopia of opinions and arguments out there and coming to a real world conclusion that suits your personal taste criteria and of course budget!
I'll make an assumption here that most of us who enjoy or are even passionate about wine are not generally in the position to be invited to vineyards all over the world to offer an opinion on a new vintage. That is really the reserve of the professional whose respected opinions are like gold dust to the growers and producers the world over and while it is interesting for the rest of us to hear how good a new Margaux is at £60+ a bottle, we probably won't be buying any.
It's almost (although in a less extreme way) like the world of fashion where we see gorgeous waif- like models parading up and down the catwalks of Paris or Milan in outfits we will never even see let alone buy ourselves. To make matters worse - they're spitting it out (the wine that is)
Masters of wine use an esoteric 100 point scoring system to rate a wine and of course have a lot of experience to fall back on when making tasting notes. Luckily however they are tasting wines across the board and are paid to help select wines for high street stores and supermarkets as well as for the many merchants who sell fines wines online. This means that they take the final price of a bottle in to consideration when making their notes and will say things like – this is the best New Zealand Sauvignon blanc I've tasted for some time - at this price point. (See our Saturday Kitchen blog of 17/12/11)
We as the consumer can simply say "hell with that" if we want to though. If we happen to like cheap Californian Merlot then why shouldn't we? Personally I can't imagine a world without onions for example whereas my dad runs a mile from them – who am I to tell him he's mad?
There is absolutely no doubt though that if you have tried a really good wine you will taste the difference. You may not necessarily like it (at first) but you can't deny that it has a complexity, depth and finish that you don't find in many inexpensive table wines.
Happily the world's appreciation of wine coupled with the advances in wine production over the last what 100 years? - Has resulted in fine wine – or we could say really good wine, becoming far more accessible and affordable to all of us. If you buy wine online you can look at the fine wine categories from the sellers and see bottles starting from £8-10. Of course they do also go sky high but they are all classed as fine. You pay your money and you take your pick as they say.
Here at Wineday UK we aim to cater for all tastes and budgets. You can have a look at our favourite links pages for expert info and inspiration and do keep an eye on our blogs for our special offers and discounts codes on fine wine – better still join us on Facebook or follow us on twitter and you'll get them as soon as we do!