Fundacja Rozwoju Społeczeństwa Przedsiębiorczego•159 vistas
Wine as food or wine as a collectable - Chris Telford
Notas del editor
An Italian family enjoying a traditional family feast with a table bursting with food and wine.Images of fine cellars although it is worth noting that one is set with plates and cutlery within the cellar indicating a love of both food and wine.
The Greeks called Italy the land of the Vines. Although the old world vines have dominated the wine world the Vikings called America Vinland because of native vines which are now linked to VitisVinifera (Main old world wine grape) and Vitislabrusca, VitisRiparia and Vitisberlandieri(some of the native vines from America) by PhylloxeraVastatrix (vine pest). This most likely became the first push for collectable wine to have wine pre phylloxera on the original rootstock. Within Mesopotamia and Egypt winemakers were using amphorae to store wines making wine easy to transport.The Greeks had culture involved with wine with drinking games and bacchanalia (festivals of excess) which spread to Rome, the wine would have been high in sugar and was often diluted with hot water. The Romans introduced vine to Gaul and left a industry and culture based around the grape which spread throughout France. Today in the old world wine is part of most meals even being given to the young diluted with water. A strong culture exists of wine and food even in bars with small plates of food being part of the drinking experience. Wine was often consumed as it was safer than water and added to water made the water safer to consume. Alcohol was also usful in many medical uses, antiseptic, tonic, anaesthetic and could be flavoured with different botanicals for medicinal properties. It is questioned how much of the wine written about in the bible was grape juice or was fermented but without doubt the Church had sacramental wine (blood of Christ) and the Catholic Church often were bequeathed wineries or vineyards. Wine had been used for its medicinal properties utilising the sweetness and flavour to mask the herbs and spices added, some religious orders were making medicinal wine (mixed with Herbs) although orders such as the Cistercians (Burgundy) were endeavouring to make great wine. The Church encouraged and contributed to improved quality as did Dom Perignon a Benedictine monk who is renowned for assisting with the bottle fermentation of modern Champagne. They have a key part to play in the development of stable wines being able to be shipped around the world.Wine was made in Britian long before Henry 11 but with changes ion climate it didn’t last but with the advent when Henry 11 took the English throne and brought a steady supply of wine to England as he reigned over Gascony and Normandy. The English had a taste for the wines of Gascony called clarets (Bordeaux). Alcohol has been used to keep the unwashed masses and the Armies docile by many a ruler. Export of wine was important to many of the old world wine communities and between 1446 & 1448 wine imports made up 1/3 of the England's import trade. The Dutch became important with imports of wine to England with the Methuen treaty of 1703 putting high duties on French wine. The wines of Spain and Portugal became more common to drink.
The regions of Italy best show the development of food and wine evolving together where you have everything from light whites and reds to full bodied reds and desert wines within most regions. I.E Veronese wines Soave, Bardolino, Valpolicella and Amarone which is both rich and dry and a sweet Amarone. Verona also has the wine style of Ripasso where the Valpolicella wine is put on the skins of a partially fermented Amarone making a more substantial wine. This system was developed and used by the Greeks and the Romans used it to make wine more stable for shipping with the Roman armies.Within the old world wine had been consumed and part of the meal for generations whereas within the new world many settlers had a religious background and wine producing grapes were not native. You can observe wine being consumed with food as a part of a meal within then old world it is part of the culture. It was estimated that in the 1880’s 80% of the Italian population was involved in the wine trade in some fashion. Many families in the Italy and Dalmatia for many generation have made wine for there own consumption and deem it a cultural or historical right. The Dutch were big traders in wine from France, Spain and Portugal with the English large importers. Wine was often a product that was used on return journeys or to offset salt or spices that didn’t create ballast in the ships. The wine bottle dates back to the romans who developed glass blowing but the use of oil soaked rags to seal bottles gave way to cork in the mid to late 17th century. Innovation and improved quality of glass bottles helped wine survive shipping in the subsequent years.The Bordeaux classification of 1855 into the 1st to 5th growths or crus enabled the buying public and trade alike to have faith in the wines they purchased from the named estates as they were classed on quality. With one small change to the classification in 1856 with the addition of ChCantemerle until Phillippe de Rothschild successfully lobbied to have Ch Mouton Rothschild lifted from 2nd Cru to 1st in 1973. Burgundy, Champagne and Alsace have classifications of Grand and Premier cru for vineyards based around quality of wines or more correctly the vineyards that produce the wines.The classification of Italy in 1963 within the DOC system was due to the increased interest in Italian wine within the market and hopefully would allow for more reliable purchasing although it was late as Chianti was recognised in 1716 and Tokaj in 1730 although this was with out quality regulations. Although the Port wines of the Douro were regulated in 1756. All endeavouring to make the region and the wines of the region more reliable and achieve a high value through the reliability .
Coffee and cacao beans attains a higher price for its raw product if grown in a terroir that is more high regarded for quality. Berry Brothers & Rudd were originally grocers and coffee merchants 1698 who moved into selling wine in 1760. The start of the story is in 1922 with Phillippe de Rothschild taking over the running of the estate, all Bordeaux wines at that time were sold in barrels to merchants who bottled and labelled the wines. It was in 1924 Phillippe de Rothschild commissioned the poster designer Jean Carlu to create a label for the first wine within Bordeaux to be bottled and labelled at the winery, becoming a guarantee of quality and image identifying the winery. It started raising the bar on the proof of origin , the AOC (Appellation d’originecontrôlée) for wine started in 1905 with a law designating regions. The next was in 1945 with Philippe Julian creating a design based on the V for Victory made famous by Winston Churchill, every year since has had a commissioned art work. These commissioned art works added value and made the wines more collectable and in lesser years when the wine was more likely consumed unopened bottles were more rare and lesser vintages achieved a more respectable auction price when put onto the market later. Ch Mouton Rothshild over the other first growths of Bordeaux has consistently achieved higher prices at auctions for older years and more collectable years due to the collectability of the labels. The Balthus label of 1993 was rejected for import by BATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco and Firearms in the USA and a blank label was shipped making both labels far more collectable.
Berry Brothers & Rudd (English wine merchants) have been selling wine for 250 years and have an amazing collection of old wines in their cellars, cultural differences come into play when retailing with the English, the English being notable for enjoying older Champagne whereas the French think it should only be consumed young. This interest in older wines has helped supply and demand drive prices. Other factors that drive prices through supply and demand are Wine Journalists who only really became highly influential the 1970’s and Wine Shows although with the volume of medal winning wines merely a gold is not enough to help you sell out. Now a trophy or 93+ point review from Robert Parker is required. Gourmet Magazine started in the 1940’s and The Institute of the Masters of Wine formed in 1955 although the first examination were in 1953 and the wine journalists continued slowly until the early 1960’s when Hugh Johnson started writing for Conde Nast. The big push came in the 1970’s when Sarah Morphew Stephen, Serena Sutcliffe passed as a MW and Jancis Robinson started writing. Media can also be used to try and drive purchase particularly in more collectable wines often those that have high resale value such as was the case with Mollydooker Shiraz and the broken stock. Bonhams were auctioning wines in the early 1850’s although Sotheby’s have been auctioning wine since 1970 when the wine auction market started to lift. It is only with the advent of the bottle and label that has allowed a more progressive trade in wine although it is the authenticity of the origin of the wine that has given bidders the faith to reach the giddying heights seen in the last 10 years. But it is more than just the purchase of the bottle, it can be the media attention such as the Jefferson bottles or the Verve Clicquot from the Baltic sea ship wreck and the 1811 Chd’Yquem at $US 117,000 for the wine list of a new restaurant in Bali. Counterfeit wines are becoming more common but in some cases it can be hard to prove as was the case with the Jefferson’s Lafite 1787 bottles but Lafite came back in the press more recently with the Chinese market selling more 1982 Lafite than was produced in France. The wine market took off when proof of origin came into play now it is proof that it is a genuine product .When a good profit is available unscrupulous people and greed become more common. The biggest challenges are going to be counterfeit wine and wine devalued by discounting within this market. Also wine prices being inflated as was seen with some of the latest Bordeaux offers, then the media challenging those prices.
The motivation of the winery how they will market and position the wine in the market. The motivation of the consumer, do they want to enjoy the wine or invest in it. The higher the price and more limited production the more likely it could become collectable. And finally if it has a good or great review this can accentuate the influence a wine journalist can have on the price and sales of the wine.
Wine is consumed with food and by itself for pleasure, celebration or relaxation. Wine is collected to be enjoyed when more mature and collected to be resold at hopefully a higher price. But in the end it is a food product made by a person who hopes the purchaser opens it and enjoys it.