By JAMIE GOODIE — THE WINE ANORAK — June 27th, 2011
There’s a clash of cultures in the world of fine wine, and before too long it could become a war.
On the one hand, we have the fine wine establishment, which is dominated by Bordeaux, but also includes the top Champagne houses, as well as a few others such as the super-Tuscans. Wine as a luxury good or an investment vehicle. It’s where the money is.
On the other hand, the emerging terroiriste/natural wine movement. This is somewhat counterculture, and its development as a category threatens the status quo of fine wine.
As the message of authentic wine with a sense of place – made by people driven by passion rather than profit – gains traction, it is causing a degree of discomfort in the fine wine establishment.
While things are currently very rosy-looking for the top Bordeaux properties, I wouldn’t be surprised if the more enlightened proprietors are casting an anxious glance at the success of events such as the three day natural wine fair held in Borough market this May, just as the large (and currently dominant) Champagne houses have been discomfited by the critical acclaim given to grower Champagnes.