As I mentioned here once before, the fad in California wines for more than a decade now has been the heavy emphasis on what I call MSG wines. No, that’s not a designation of something to order in your favorite Chinese restaurant; rather, it refers to Rhone-style blends featuring Mourvedre-Syrah-Grenache. Many of these blends are knockouts, and adjusting the blend allows winemakers to bob and weave depending on the weather and harvest to deliver a very consistent wine. A number of French winemakers have come to the central coast of California because they can experiment here, whereas in France the wine bureaucracy prevents wine makers from innovating. While I like many of these efforts, I still prefer old-fashioned straight-up classic varietals, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah. (I’m having a 100% Syrah tonight with my grilled pork roast.)
But in honor of Minnesota legalizing gay marriage today, I think we need to promote a new blend: Lambrusco-Gropelo-Barbera-Tempranillo, or LGBT wines. This would definitely be a fruit-forward wine, as the critics say. And each of the elements conveys some of the socially-constructed reality of the blend: “Lambrusco” is obvious, as is “Gropelo;” “Barbera” synthesizes the enthusiasms of fans of Sangiovese-Merlot (S&M) and Bondola-Domina (B&D), while “Tempranillo” is the clear varietal of choice for the fashion and stage industry, and executive chefs, too. Undoubtedly the consumers of these blends would know how to pronounce all the varietals correctly! Don’t laugh: the industry has apparently thought of this, in fact more than once, except I was sure that white Zinfandel (a travesty) was the failed attempt to do this a few years back. (And don’t even mention “wine coolers” to me unless you want to step outside. And did I mention above that I like my varietals straight? Yes, I see I did.)
Note to the Power Line steering committee: Not sure we’ll serve these blends at the long-promised Power Line Wine Weekend.
Now look: A lot of you were asking for more wine writing, so don’t complain now!