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Great article about alcohol in wine from SF Chronicle

Great article about alcohol in wine from SF Chronicle

Just an excerpt of on Jon Bonné’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.”