Matt Kramer article November 7th

Only just saw this. He talks about wine making being constrained by the culture of the people where it is made, and quotes Canada as being a country of "enforced provincialism" caused by the protectionist economic culture where a monopoly controls both availability and variety. What I find breathtaking is the smug response from someone I assume works for the LCBO.

"As always, intriguing. I do take exception to the straightjacket comment, given that the LCBO, Ontario's purchaser, was, for many years (only recently supplanted by Costco), the worlds single largest purchaser of international wines. We have spectacular access, but did endure interprovincial regulatory nuissances (you're familiar with these down there, only you call them interstate...); while this hampered "intranational" access, it helped develop palatal experience that pushed quality forward, as evidenced by your recent endorsement of a certain Prince Edward County chardonnay. Again, love your column, but I suspect you don't mind (even relish) the gentle push-backs."
Original Post
I was surprised, during my visit to Vancouver and Victoria this summer, at how small the selection of American wines was in the larger stores selling wines.

Since I was in Canada, I did take the opportunity to try as many Canadian wines, especially BC wines as I could. But I found it interesting how few wines from either OR or WA was available, fwiw.
I didn't quite get what he was getting at in the article. I would suspect that I've probably had more of those Hungarian wines than he has and over a longer time. I've visited Zoltan several times and I don't get the idea of "escaping" the culture. Since 1990, many of the wines have become good to excellent. That's a result of investment, learning, willingness to experiment, and practice.

Moreover, there's a very active wine culture in Hungary that is very interested in tasting what is available elsewhere. Many of the winemakers have travelled and even worked in other regions, including CA, France, and Australia, and they know what their competition is. So I'm not sure what they're trying to escape? The wines are absolutely fine and the knowledge is there.

The economics are a different story. Hungary is a relatively poor country with a dismal economic situation right now.

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