We hate to admit it, but Americans have a serious sweet tooth. Yes, I am referring to our collective taste in wine as much as our love of Krispy Kremes.
In July, Meiomi Pinot Noir sold for $315 million dollars. That’s a big number for a brand that sells $25 bottles, but people are amped about the stuff because it’s sweet, literally sweet.
Many Americans get high levels of satisfaction out of wines with high levels of residual sugar. When we taste a big, high alcohol wine with lots of fruit, we feel like somehow we’re getting more. In America, we love MORE. This is the home of super-sized fries, SUVs and all-you-can-eat buffets. This is the home of Man vs. Food.
It’s not a guilt trip, it’s just the truth. Or, at least, it was the truth.
The past few years have seen a significant swell in the popularity of higher acid wines. This is a backlash against the big, syrupy fruit bombs that have been in American mouths for so long. Fruit bombs are out, acid is in. That ultra-cool sommelier you follow on Instagram loves high acid wine. The wine nerd who lives in your building agrees. Should you?
Well, not simply because they do, but proponents of high acid wines do have a pretty good reason to seek out less sugary stuff. To professional tasters, acid is one of the first signifiers of balance.
If you’ve ever tasted a big sugary wine, you’ve probably also tasted a “flabby” wine. These are the wines that feel like melted jello in your mouth, that are dull, heavy and flat. That awkward and unpleasant feeling is due to a lack of acid. As it turns out, acid’s purpose in wine is to perk it up. It’s this perkiness that plenty of American drinkers are starting to seek out.
Far from flabby, vino with a higher acid content is brighter and will leave your mouth watering just a touch. This is a good thing. This means your tastebuds want more and that your palate has been refreshed instead of overpowered. Acidic wines are a bit more austere than the big wines we’re used to, but they’re more subtle too.
Sugary wines shout. Acidic wines whisper. Alcohol is husky. Acid is perky. Fruit bombs are powerful and potent, but all they can say is “Hodor!” A sleek high acid wine is like Arya, and wields a different kind of influence.
It’s an influence that’s been growing slowly but steadily and has been bringing complexity to the sweet teeth of America. Judging by the wines in this box, it’s an influence we’re excited about, and we hope you are too.
Much like the host of Man vs. Food (who recently lost 70 pounds and turned vegan), the American wine palate is slimming down.