One of the most misleading questions in the world of wine is to ask ‘What is your favourite wine?’. This is a useless question, pure poppy cock and as useful as asking which way the wind will blow today.
It’s a question I get asked all the time. Years ago, while in the first flush of wine knowledge, I would try to pick a favourite. The truth of the matter was always that different wines at different times were favourites. It was all about the people, the place, the vibe, the food, the craic, even the temperature.
Wines are like humans and full of difference, some smooth, some rough, some sour, some sweet. One may say you like Merlot, but if you think all Merlots are the same then you are living in cloud cuckoo land (say hi when you see me there). The highly praised Bordeaux Pomerol is 100 percent merlot grape but will be hugely different from a Chilean Merlot.
Mass production can achieve a more consistent taste throughout every year. But is every year the same? Ask any Mayo farmer and they will soon tell you the answer.
Mass production tends to mitigate against diversity as it seeks uniform tastes. In the world of wine we should be championing difference and diversity as we celebrate the rich tapestry of farmed produce, not prioritising sameness in taste and style. So there! Every year has its particular style. Maybe flares or basketball boots will come back into fashion one day. Let us enjoy them if they do.