Great article about alcohol in wine from SF Chronicle

Great article about alcohol in wine from SF Chronicle

Just an excerpt of on Jon Bonn√©’s full article. Click here to read the whole thing. It’s well worth it.


Sommeliers particularly have become champions of more – and more accurate – alcohol disclosure. Perhaps that’s because diners have only their own assumptions to rely on when browsing a wine list. Perhaps it’s because wine directors have to pair wines with food – there’s a reason one Australian winemaker dubbed high-octane specimens “cocktail wines” – or because they want their customers to walk out the door, not stagger.

For his part, Parr – who makes wine in Santa Barbara – finds more customers, especially under 35, asking about alcohol content.

“I want to have a glass, two glasses, three glasses, and not feel that I’m going to be intoxicated,” he says. “It’s the wine I drink, it’s the wine I make, it’s the wine I serve in my restaurant. I never said the other style is wrong.”

Increasingly, winemakers agree.

“I think every by-the-glass list should have alcohol listed on it,” says winemaker Gavin Chanin, who apprenticed with Au Bon Climat’s Jim Clendenen, an early scourge of California’s higher-alcohol trend, before founding his Chanin label. “Not because it’s the be-all end-all, but for those of us who know what kind of style we want, it’s such a great indicator.”