The Wandering Wino Blog

Top 10 Wine Debate

Barrels in Cave


The debate is on! Wine has been produced for thousands of years and mainly for the simple pleasure of consumption. Grapes are a crop grown in a dirt field under farmers hands and Gods weather. If you've ever been in a vineyard during harvest time, you know much of the romance is quickly tossed out the window once getting in a very cold vineyard at 4:00 AM. Add the element of being covered in grape juice, spiders,  yellow jackets, back breaking work, suddenly the element of sommeliers, restaurants, and wine pairing dinners  is quickly out the door. Despite all of these aspects, people seem to like to debate about various points of wine.


I lived in Texas for a few years and learned a few things about BBQ. I learned about different cuts of meat, in-direct heat, and smoking. In my view, my BBQ skills went way up and fast. My threshold and standard dramatically increased far past what had previously been acceptable or even very good. Along the way, I've gained a general understanding of South Carolina, Tennessee, and Santa Maria BBQ. Some say no sauce. Some say, load up the sauce. Some use this cut of meat, but wouldn't dare use that cut of meat, while others would do the opposite. I do not know about you, but I love some dang good BBQ however it's produced. Sauce, no sauce, direct heat, oven, smoker, flame thrower or candle cooked. If it taste good, I don't get my panties in a bunch. 

Stainless Barrels

Wine is no different for me. Over the past year, I've had the opportunity to taste hundreds and hundreds of wines produced in many different ways from different regions. I've had at least 200 different Chardonnays in various styles. Some I liked, some I didn't and others I wouldn't toss out at a party.  What happened to the good 'ole days when people just drank wine? I've been told stories of how in Napa Valley in the 1960's, people would bring a 1-galloon jug to a winery to fill up. Seems every corner you turn now, there is a different aspect that could be debated. From my personal observations I have created a top ten list of the most debated wine topics.



Top 10 Wine Controversies


  • What brix to pick grapes / alcohol levels
  • Natural Wine
  • Biodynamic Vineyard Practices or Voodoo
  • Oak vs Stainless or Neutral Oak
  • Alternative Packaging / screw-caps / Box / Canned / Cork
  • Wine Scores / 100 point system
  • Wine Critics
  • Old World vs New World / France vs USA
  • Region/AVA Wars 
  • Carbon Footprints

Barrel Femented


This list is very simply my observations of written posts, Facebook, and many Twitter conversations. I won't say that some aren't worth discussing or the fact that I understand some palettes are different and have different prefrences. I get it.

Some of these may cross over a little and they are in no particular order. As an added bonus, seems tough these days to like Burgundy and Rhone at the same time. There are days I am "Rhone to the Bone." Then there are days I just a straight Pinot-Whore. I like wine. I like oak. I like no oak. I like 13% wines. I like 15.5% wines. I like Washington Merlot. I like Grenache Blanc, I like Pinot Blanc. I will drink them with a goat, I will drink them on a boat. I will drink them here or there. I will drink them anywhere. I like wines, I am a wino, yes I am!

Pass the BBQ sauce, the dry rub, a pitcher of stainless oak, and pour me more 85 or 95 point Pinot Mourvedre!



  • Jill A. Ricci
    Posted Friday 17 February 2012 16:42
    Yup, regardless of your station in the wine wars clubs of life. Bottom line each person likes what they like. It is fun to learn new things about wine making. At the end of the day it comes down to ~ did it taste good to you. Thanks, Jill

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