Is there such a thing as a “correct” way that wine should taste? A wine being “varietally correct” means that the wine tastes the way a Merlot or a Chardonnay is supposed to taste. But who actually decides how a wine is supposed to taste in the first place?
The idea of a wine being varietally correct comes from the world of blind tasting, where the ability to identify the grapes a wine is made from is the whole point. If a wine tasted like a Merlot but was actually made using Pinot Noir, not only would that be kind of weird, but a sommelier or critic would be unable to identify the wine correctly. Hence the idea of a wine needing to be varietally correct.
But by putting these restrictions on wine simply so sommeliers and critics have the ability to blind taste them, are we inhibiting the wine world’s creativity? Should all Chardonnays really need to taste like white Burgundy to be considered correct?
That’s the discussion we’re having on this week’s VinePair Podcast. Give it a listen!