A few months ago I had a glass of the house merlot in a local restuarant. When I asked what it was, I was shocked at the answer. I remember back in the day that wines by that Mendicino County vintner were basically plonk. So my question is, has in general the quality of wine improved overall that much in the past four decades or is this a case of single vintner getting his act together? Note, I've also observed similar improvements in some of the less expensive California wines, but this could of course be a coincedence so that's why I put this question out there for those with professional knowledge of the industry.
The general arc of quality
Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:41 PM
Nowadays finding _bad_ wine is actually pretty difficult. Manufacturing defects have largely been engineered out of winemaking. Everybody pays attention to the acidity balance and corrects, nobody fails to let the fermentation finish, infections with nasty unexpected bugs are rare... nowadays it seems to be a matter of taste. Finding somebody who makes their zin extra stemmy may not float your boat, but some people love that extra vegetal tannin...