This war on terroir is, then, an unequal struggle. Massed against myself and my cohorts – a few wine writers, mostly in the New World, agree with me – are decades of acceptance of this concept of terroir by unthinking drinkers, the self-serving experts and the marketeers. These beliefs are also influenced by that cultural predisposition whereby many people think that the answer always lies in the soil. Just as humanity made myriad deities from the sun and the night sky, so we tend to believe that things grown have a special status. It has been the world of wine’s most conspicuous victory of fantasy over logic that so many people relate to terroir without having a clue what it is they have faith in.”
Terroir is not the be-all and end-all of wine making – winemakers have so many options and methods to effect the final product but the initial harvest and all that effects it does have an influence. Man is part of the terroir equation. Those with a modicum of interest in wine are not that fussed by the notions of terroir but to imply that everything about the vineyard is ‘bullshit’ is just wrong.
Gluck has always put himself as the champion of the underclass – banging on about how £2.99 wines are better than those at two, three or four times the price. His use of phrases such as ‘canny tippler’ and constantly implying that everyone else is trying to confuse and hoodwink the drinker shows a great deal about his attitude. I will refrain from any cynical implications between the two, article/rant and the publication of his new book (Amazon.co.uk £13.20).
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