Archive for May, 2013

I Hate Malbec

May 22, 2013

I hate malbec 1We use to order the House Red.  It didn’t matter what it was, we didn’t care, as long as it was cheap and juicy.  Then the House Red turned into Merlot.  It sounded exotic (the T silent), easy to say and definitely a French word.  Then Pinot Noir was discovered, even more exotic sounding (the T still silent) a little harder to say (not PEE-NO NO-er) and still definitely French sounding.  Usually you hear it shortened to just ‘Pinot’ (sorry Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot d’Aunis you never mattered).

i hate malbec 2

Somewhere and somehow in the last decade or so some shitty juice sneaked onto our wine lists and changed everything.  Enter Malbec.  It’s easier to say, has a strong accent on the second syllable, slightly mysterious and most importantly it’s really cheap and really juicy.

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Malbec (like Merlot and Pinot Noir) is actually a grape type that has been turned into a brand.  Straightforward, uncomplicated, sweet and plush,  Argentina spits out around 110 million bottles a year with the U.S. consuming a good chunk of it.  To meet our demand for fat, mono-chromatic, fruity and uniform wines, much of the Argentinian wine industry resorts to super high yield vineyard plantings where ultra-late harvests have sugar levels out of control.i hate malbec 4

To adjust the sugar levels, regular tap water is sometimes added to bring everything to an acceptable level for fermentation to start.  At some stage the wine has to be concentrated somehow, either through reverse-osmosis or evaporation.  Acidification is generously used to achieve a perceived sense of balance.  Cheap, industrialized wine production and a cheap U.S. dollar to Argentine Peso exchange rate will insure a constant flow of bland, viscous, headache inducing cocktail swill.  Even the expensive Malbecs are one dimensional, just gobs of more tutti-fruit and coconut oak.

i hate malbec 5

When a restaurant has a Malbec on their wine list it means that they are trying to insult you by underestimating your sense of taste.  Refuse their dumb offering and demand something better.

i hate malbec 6


Shut up Frenchy!  This has nothing to do with you!