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May 31, 2005


Boris Pevzner

Dear fellow wine lover,

I invite you to comment on this post. Did I miss any wine taboos? did I get any facts wrong? or do you consider my entire taboo debunking logic hopelessly naïve? -- And yes, I fully expect to receive some hate mail originating from our wine drinking and wine making orthodoxy!

I have already heard a few general arguments against this entire debunking enterprise. They all boil down to: “Why debunk myths that make us feel all good and sophisticated, let us fancy ourselves part of some privileged ‘in the know’ elite?”

General answer: The constant search for Truth is our trait as humans (probably a major source of competitive advantage against other species). Chasing after Truth, we constantly overturn old outdated theories and replace them with new better ones. This is called “progress,” and yes, it’s not always comfortable for everyone. And yes, there will always be Luddites who oppose “progress” – especially in an industry as steeped in tradition as is winemaking. But then again, there are reactionaries everywhere, be that in science, technology, or politics. Let us not let them intimidate us in our taboo debunking quest!

If I receive a lot of good suggestions, I will put together a “version 2.0” of this post that incorporates them. And if the volume of emails and comments warrants it, I may even put up a wiki where all of us can collaborate on a joint Wine Industry Taboo Debunking Manifesto!

Happy debunking.


I have seen the large flavor molecules with my own eyes, so you may stop spreading these evil lies. They exist, and on more than one occasion I have witnessed them bursting open. But thank you for reminding me to buy a can of inert gas to preserve my opened bottles of VINTAGE WINE, like that fine 2001 double-liter Jack Boucheron screwtop.


This is not to say that, say, France, is immune from wine dogmas.
Here is a great article from Slate on the subject: How Bureaucrats Are Wrecking French Wine

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