Kermit Lynch Knows the Terroir

Good news, if this trend continues; Robert Parker’s taste in wine is not my taste in wine…

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Arcangelo

For much of the last 35 years, the wine critic Robert Parker dominated the international wine scene. Parker invented the 100-point rating system for wine, and his reviews wielded such influence over sales that vintners everywhere worked to please Parker’s palate, making oaky, intensely flavored, high-alcohol wines. Kermit Lynch, meanwhile, through his wine shop in Berkeley, Calif., and also through his nationwide distribution business, chose to sell only French and Italian wines made in the unadulterated, old-school traditional style aimed at accentuating terroir — each vineyard’s unique combination of weather, soil and geography.

…Find a good merchant and let her pick out four or five bottles and then give the wines a chance. Try to be open-minded when you taste. A lot of people say, “I don’t know much about wine, but I know what I like.” Maybe you don’t know what you like, because you just keep drinking the same style. The wine world is pretty vast and diverse, and it’s not marriage. You don’t have to be faithful to one style. So don’t impose your comparatively limited experience on every wine you encounter. Try to understand wine styles you’re not familiar with.

Right here in Berkeley, I found a great winemaker, Steve Edmunds, working with Rhone varietals. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised — I eat better in Berkeley than I do in France these days. My son now works for me, too, and he’s been talking about California wineries dropping the heavy-oak, heavy-alcohol style. He wants me to consider adding some to our portfolio, and I’ve given him the green light to scout around.

Q: Do you believe there are certain wines we should all be drinking? Or just that everybody should drink whatever they like?

A: Yeah — whatever you like, you should drink. But maybe you shouldn’t serve it to your friends.

(click here to continue reading Kermit Lynch Knows the Terroir – NYTimes.com.)

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