“Americans tend to have an Coca Cola palette”.
A wine merchant said this to us in Los Angeles, a few years back. Quite funny and true. And this quote almost got us into trouble one night having dinner in San Francisco. But I’ll get back to this later.
In the United States they like it sweet and big. And when looking through a wine glass, this doesn’t paint the prettiest of pictures. White wines, for example, are often marinated in oak flavours and high sugar levels leave high alcohol percentage and complete lack of freshness. But it CAN be good; it can be amazing, in fact. We’ve tasted it, so we know. We’re heading back to California soon and thought we’d do some pre study work.
In a corner shop, downtown San Francisco, we stumbled across a nice selection of California wines. We had been searching for a sign that proper wines were made here, and that we just had missed it. The two-week search had come up empty handed, until now. We explained our mission to the merchant who smiled and replied, “So do you want the classic California style or something different?” We wanted different. He presented us with a $30 bottle from a small farm in Napa. A Chardonnay. To this day, it’s one of the top whites we’ve ever tasted. The production of this small winery was 60.000 bottles a year. That’s next to nothing, and certainly is there no need for export. Everything stays local. And that sucks!
Here, home in Norway, the Wine Monopoly run focus areas every other month. We’ve been waiting for a proper look at USA, and we’re still waiting. But we collected five that were available and started tasting. Would there be anything reminding us of that epic bottle? With prices in the upper area, we were hopeful.
None of the wines came close to what we had in San Francisco some years ago. In two weeks we head back. Exiting.