A Wine Maker Explains How Sommeliers Lie to You About Wine


In the "Explain Like I'm Five" subreddit, a user asked a simple question about wine. "Why is it that everything can [be] tasted in the wine from the climate to the soil, but pesticides are never mentioned? How much do pesticides [affect] wine?" This question set off one of those threads that serves as a reminder why you should pop into Reddit.

The user indigostrudel, a wine maker, came back with several long answers and basically turned the thread into an impromptu AMA where he shared thoughts on sommeliers, what flavors are easy to identify in wines, and why the power of suggestion plays a big role in how wine is perceived.

He started by addressing the original question, but his "bullshit propagated by sommeliers" comment turned the thread into a fiery cauldron of grape debate. indigostrudel called terroir a "concept propagated by the French to explain why their wine is superior to other regions' wines," and got even feistier, saying, "Somms are reticent to accept that their magical terroir is simply some bacteria and yeast." It's a dense comment, but check it out for yourself.

Indigostrudel's comments, naturally, pissed off some sommeliers who lobbed back with mostly civil punches:

...and sometimes less civil:

And sometimes full-on haymakers, like when one Portuguese commenter crushed American and French wine-drinkers.

[W]hen it comes to wine, you're infants that think the best wine in the world is the French wine you pay stupid money for. The best wine in the world is drank in a unlabelled bottle with your grandma's cooking, and that my friends, you're still years away from achieving. It's called tradition.

*Drops mic*

It's worth noting here that lutefisk and bathtub gin are traditions, so tradition only gets three out of a possible five stars.

The little bits above just scratch the surface of the thread. It's an interesting look into the opinion of a winemaker that sets off healthy debate from other winemakers and wine enthusiasts.

Read the full comment below and then head to the thread to read more of the conversation.