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Naked Wines

September 17, 2012 by Ricardo Santos | in News, Opinions

The so-called “naked wines” are already in fashion in specialized bars in France. But, what we are referring to when we talk about this kind of wines. An expert explains it below.

When I have to describe the wines my family enjoy, which are made by my son Patricio, I said that they are those remind us of the vineyard rather than the winery. That is to say that once grape is harvested, we pretend not to alter nor add flavors that change the natural and typical features of the fruit.

Alan Young, Australian wine critic and educator, who has recently died, used to divide wines into those to drink and those to talk about (“Drinking wines” and “talking wines”). He explained that the first group includes those wines we enjoy in such a way that “if we are four or five having dinner, we drink the first bottle before meal is served.” Whereas, the second one refers to those we enjoy on the nose, as their concentration, oaky character and tannic astringency do not invite to delight them on the palate. Both have very different styles, and none of them is better than the other.

Some time ago, I found out that this “drinking wines” have already a definition in the United States, they are called “naked wines”. Alice Feiring is one of the writers devoted to them. Her last book, published in 2011 is entitled “Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally”. When she describes it, she says that a naked or natural wine is totally different from most of New World’s wines, which she considers “overripe, over manipulated and too grandiloquent”. Another book, edited in Spanish by Tusquets, is entitled “the battle for wine and love or how I saved the world from parkerization” (in Spanish: La batalla por el vino y el amor o Cómo salvé al mundo de la parkerización), title that makes you know exactly what it refers to.

Mike Veseth, a Californian economist, specialized in wines, wrote an interesting commentary on the book and the so-called naked wine. Veseth said that the book contributes to a movement towards natural or naked wines. This movement is active in France today, where there are bars specializing in this style of wine, though there are also critics regarding it as an excuse for making bad wines. Considering a wine bad, without faults, would lead to a controversy without, as in all cases where senses take part, winners and losers.

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