“Interesting” is a word that I hate to hear when conducting a tasting. More often than not it means that guest doesn’t like the wine at all but doesn’t have the guts to say it. It is a word that can easily make or break a tasting experience if the right questions or comments aren’t made after it is thrown onto the table.
I do believe that it is utilized simply because an individual, myself included, just doesn’t know what to say about a wine. More often than not I like to utilize “interesting” with a very positive connotation because I don’t want to drink boring wine. I want a wine to get me to think. I want it to be interesting.
There are plenty of moments where I don’t want or need an interesting wine. If it is the 3rd or 4th bottle (or more) of the night I just want something that is good. I honestly don’t really want to think about the wine at that point as much as I just want to enjoy what is in by glass.
DISCLAIMER: that 3rd or 4th bottle+ is not accomplished without a group of people. I drink a lot of wine but not that much…
There are plenty of good wines out there that aren’t interesting. Look at the usual lineup of any grocery store shelf. There is a decent amount of good wine there but more often than not there is nothing super interesting or enlightening. In essence if you need a bottle of red or white wine just because you feel like having wine you can probably track one down at your local grocery store. if you are really wanting to learn more about what is in your glass I’d venture to guess that you need to get out of the big box stores and into a specialty wine shop. There are always exceptions that prove the rule of course.
In my post a couple weeks back with my “rating system” I went through how I generally evaluate a wine. As a part of that thought process I am definitely thinking about how interesting I find a wine. I think about how interesting a wine is because I want it to be complex and hard to nail down. I don’t want the wine I am drinking to be one dimensional. In my mind that makes a wine uninteresting and means that there is next to no chance that I will ever buy it.
I do have some staple “non-thinking” wines or uninteresting wines stored away because there are plenty of times I finish up a day and I just want something good. I don’t really care what it is I just want to know that I am going to enjoy it. The vast majority of wines I buy though are wines that I do find interesting, that make me think and will likely change and evolve as I drink them or as I age them.
With all of that in mind “interesting” is what I try to achieve with my wines, especially on the Merlot and Riesling front. Far too often they are pigeonholed into the “Sideways Effect” or being too sweet respectively. It is why I try to make the Merlot they way I think the varietal should be showcased. I don’t want it to be a crappy, thin red wine that people shun. Nor do I want it to be a “Cab Lover’s” Merlot ie: pretending that it is something that its not. I want my Merlot to be Merlot. The the reason I have made the Riesling in a dry style should speak for itself. That bone-dry style with no residual sugar is a game changer that can work wonders for wine novices and geeks alike.
In my mind “interesting” is better than good. In fact it is what can make a wine great or mind-blowing. If a wine isn’t interesting it is boring. I am not so sure that there is an in between. As usual that opinion is purely subjective based on your own tastebuds and what you find interesting or great.
I challenge people to constantly find those interesting wines because they tend to be the most fun. The good or uninteresting wines can be those that you can open a few bottles down the line. I think that everyone needs a combination of both in their lives. You never know when you want your mind-blown or when you just need some boozy grape juice in your glass. In either case just make sure that you enjoy what you are kicking back.