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Pineapples and Wine Snobbery

One of the great pleasures of travel is ability to try local food and wine – said it many times before, nothing original here. However, as I’m in Hawaii now, I gladly obey that simple principal. Talking about food, it is a lot of Asian fusion – we had being to a few places, food is consistently very good so far. But – let’s talk about wine.

Hawaiian wine – what can I find here? Yes, I know I’m in Hawaii and not in France. Of course the wine is sold in every supermarket, Walmart and so on – and of course it is wine from all over the world. But we want to go local, remember? So, what is the local grape in Hawaii? I’m sure there is one, as wine is produced in all 50 states in US. Until we will figure the grapes out, let’s think fruit.

Yep, so here it is – a bottle of Tedeschi Vineyards Maui Blanc, a Pineapple wine. Let’s read together wine description from the back label: “Maui Blanc is a wine made from the juice of fresh golden pineapples. Fermentation of the rich golden juice takes place in temperature controlled vats and is stopped at near dryness. The result is a soft, dry fruity wine with an unmistakable pineapple bouquet. Serve chilled.” Don’t know if you typically sport reading back labels on the wine bottles, but based on this description, what do you expect from this wine?

I often talk about expectations in this blog. Expectations is one of essential factors which can affect the way you perceive the wine – at least until the first or second sip. While expectations are based on many factors (you can find more in-depth analysis here), the breadth of your horizon as wine drinker is one of the factors I want to touch on here. Some of the lucky wine lovers try a great wine, like first growth Bordeaux and magnificent Grand Crus of Burgundy and they are set for life in their wine preferences. The story of the most I believe is different. People often start from White Zinfandel, then discover that red wine exists and they like it. After expanding the variety of the personally acceptable red wines, it is possible that some of the wine lovers will stop moving out of the familiar circle and will declare that no other wines would worth their attention. This is the birth-point of wine snobbery. Some people will never move on. But many will – by accident, or by influence of overly insisting friends, they will try a white or rose or desert wine – and discover that the wine world is much bigger that they originally thought. From that point on, they are on the way to becoming real wine connoisseurs.

Sometimes I wonder where am I myself in that journey and how much of the wine snobbery I still keep. Don’t know. I’m really trying not to judge the wine by its cover, err – label, and all of my blind tasting experience is helping to keep the humble view into the wine world. Now coming back to the Maui Blanc, the Pineapple wine, I had no expectations. Here is the bottle, I said I will try it, let’s see what will happen.

The wine actually was very good (in other words, better than I expected despite having no expectations). Nice bright acidity, lots of fruit on the palate (pineapple fruit, needless to say). It probably fell a bit short on the finish, as it didn’t evolve anywhere. But in any case, this is very drinkable wine for the summer day (I will put drinkability at 7).

Try to step out of the familiar circle tonight – just grab a bottle you never tried before, hold your expectations and give it your best try – and prepare to be surprised. There is a good chance that you will be surprised – and in a good way. To the wonderful discoveries – cheers!

  1. Emil
    May 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Wow! Who’d have thought… Pineapple wine…

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