The wine itself? I style a contact of oak, courtesy of barrel substitutes like chips or staves used to taste the wine, a touch of crimson fruit, softly textured — no tannins or bitterness. However total, it’s simply plain candy, like a delicate drink with 13.5 p.c alcohol. It’s not one thing I’d take pleasure in, but it satisfies thousands and thousands of individuals.
Equally, the Prisoner is a mix of crimson grapes. Like Apothic, it’s as candy as Kool-Support however in any other case darker, heavier, extra structured and tannic, and the candy flavors linger. It’s manufactured from Napa Valley fruit, in contrast to Apothic, which makes use of cheap grapes from elements unknown, so the Prisoner is a bit more self-important. The bottle is heavy; the wine is weighty at 15.2 p.c alcohol, and so is the worth.
Of the three wines, the Meiomi got here closest to what I think about a drinkable wine. It was discernibly pinot noir, although a heavy-handed model of it, with ripe, jammy flavors combined with oakiness. It’s as supple and easy as velvet, one other standard phrase with back-label writers, delicate and candy.
Many individuals within the wine business rationalize that these are gateway bottles, wines for individuals who have little expertise with wine. Some drinkers, the pondering goes, will transition to raised bottles.
I’ve by no means understood that pondering. These are wines for individuals who like wines like these, not some noble introductory effort to an excellent world past. And way more persons are ingesting these wines than, say, wonderful Anderson Valley pinot noirs, simply as way more persons are consuming fast-food hamburgers than eating at good nook bistros or exploring the tasting menus of visionary cooks.
These characterize the 2 alternate universes of the wine enterprise. One, wherein shoppers primarily choose manufacturers that they like and keep loyal, is vastly bigger. These drinkers worth consistency and familiarity. They don’t wish to be challenged; they aren’t enthusiastic about classic variations, soil expressions or any of the opposite nerdy subjects that wine geeks would possibly move a nice hour discussing.
The opposite, smaller universe is the standard viewers for Wine College. These individuals discover wine attention-grabbing sufficient to discover, to study. To them, it represents one thing greater than a product on a grocery listing. They discover wine to be one thing with the capability to shock, to mystify, to disappoint, sure, but in addition to maneuver them emotionally. These individuals embrace the sudden slightly than the acquainted. Some shoppers might transfer between these teams freely, relying on their shifting priorities, however the philosophies and strategies of manufacturing for the 2 teams of wines are vastly totally different.