It Was the Best of Times…Best of Wine Times that Is… – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

It was the best of times…Best of wine times that Is…  While the world and its interlinking economies is in the doldrums it cannot be said the best of times in that respect.  We live in the best of wine times where quality has never been better.  We also have access to more producers and wines from almost the furthest reaches.  When I look at my current review tables I still can’t get over how many wine worlds are represented on my wine table.  If this was a decade ago I would have had a very difficult time finding the diversity I have available to me today.

The import wine category isn’t new but it is far richer today than 10 years ago.  I live in a nicely sophisticated wine town–San Francisco but I can tell you I would have struggled to find wines from Lebanon, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Uruguay, Republic of Macedonia, Israel, Uruguay and other wine countries would have been impossible or nearly impossible.  South African wines was in short supply in terms of what was available on wine shelves–maybe a Chardonnay, maybe a Pinotage.  But in some well stocked wine merchants I can find 16 SKUs of South African wine.  Ten years ago I would have found no wines from the Balkans.  I might have tasted Greek wine (other than Retsina) at Greek food festivals around the country.

We would have never seen wines from lesser known wine regions from better known wine producing nation-states:  Italy: Puglia, Südtirol, Sicily, Sardegna; France: Alsace, Bergerac, Jura and I am sure you get the point.

I do expect more wine regions to promote their wines–you will see more diversity to come and more wine countries to find a spot on a wine shelf near you.  Not because there are so many shelves to be had but because consumers are intrigued and want a greater diversity of wines to purchase.

We also live in the best of wine quality times.  Wine quality is not just a situation where it just happened but it is a resolution of hard work and great effort and sterling conviction.  Wine producing nations or appellations have worked endlessly hard to produce the best wines possible.  The world of wine is not necessarily an even playing field for several reasons but wine regions have made a conscious choice for the higher road.

As example I look at Canada–a great example of a concerted effort to have a high standard of quality.  Okanagan Valley as a more detailed example had a large concentration of hybrid grapes and in the world of cosmopolitan wine drinkers would demand wines from Vitis vinifera.  Okanagan Valley to some extent has always had Vitis vinifera but it wasn’t the dominant wine crop until recently.  The Osoyoos First Nation had foresight and planted Vitis vinifera on their land in 1976 – they called their winery NK’Mip Cellars.  Also, in the late 1980s NAFTA (North America Free Tree Agreement) promotes the uprooting of Hybrid to Vitis vinifera.  A fantastic story for Okanagan Valley a mass replanting, the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) is founded and in a generation and half superb quality wines–world class–are now flourishing in Okanagan Valley.

I would not have enjoyed the world of wines that I enjoy today in a not so far yesteryear.  We live in a world of variety and vintage call out.  Seems nearly foreign that wouldn’t have been standard a 50 to 75 years ago.  A lot has changed in a short period of time and I do expect a furthering of quality measures to be a continuous process.



Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:




© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content and logo and all designs. I do not claim copyright of Wired magazine content or Conservation International’s map.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
This entry was posted in Quality. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to It Was the Best of Times…Best of Wine Times that Is… – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

  1. Keep doing what you do, J.M!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.