2 Guys Uncorked – and a question for Mapovino

I really like 2 Guys Uncorked for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s populist.  It’s meant to be populist.  They only (for now) review wines from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  They have a reason behind their philosophy, and in the end I appreciate it.  I can easily find stuff I too have tried without needing to dig too obscurely.  And it’s great for people just getting into wines.
  • The site is built on Drupal.  Thumbs up.  Nuff said.
  • They have a map.  Cool!

Wait a sec.  This is where it falls apart a bit for me (but that doesn’t have to negate the rest of the project).  How meaningful is a map “locating” Charles Shaw (“Two Buck Chuck”) in Modesto, the wine producer’s headquarters?  That wine is actually an amalgam of cheap surpluses gathered from around the state every year.  (On the plus side, I love the fact that they publish the pictures of the labels….)

Mapovino would – of course – identify wines that had some sort of geographic claim.  How specific that is, is something we’re still figuring out.  Thankfully, the U.S. has a system of regional appellations, so it’s not too controversial, but even calling something “Sonoma” (like “Loire” in France) can mean almost next to nothing – Sonoma wines can be Cabs, Merlots, Zins, Rhone blends, Pinots, any sort of white, etc – not to mention the actual style of the resulting wine.  OK, we can guess fruit-forward and higher alcohol, but then again, maybe not…..

But 2 Guys Uncorked raises a question for the Mapovino project:  Are regional-specific wines from, for example, Sonoma appellations like Dry Creek Valley going to be too expensive and out-of-reach for beginning wine enthusiasts or those without deeper pockets?  I can’t think of a single wine that comes from a specific vineyard in Napa or Sonoma that is under $30.  That’s a lot of money to spend per bottle for someone wanting to “learn” about how geography can affect wines.  We don’t want Mapovino to be elitist…..

(Obligatory Drupal nod:  See you at DrupalCon?  If so, ping me via my Drupal page.)

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2 Responses to “2 Guys Uncorked – and a question for Mapovino”

  1. 1 mike July 4, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Many wines from Napa and Sonoma are available for under $30.00.

    For example, Avalon Napa Valley Cabernet $10.99

  2. 2 smokinggoat July 10, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Yes, many wines from Napa and Sonoma are availble under $30. My comment was wines “from a single vineyard”. Not that it doesn’t exist – I would *love* to find some – I just don’t know any.

    Let’s take Avalon Napa Valley example. From the K&L Wine’s description of the wine – “dirt cheap Cab sourced from a variety of Napa Valley appellations.” So on one hand – yes, this is a Napa AVA wine – 85% or more of the grapes come from the entire Napa valley region. It’s the same (in some senses) as “Bourgogne” wines – these are still Burgundy grapes, but they come from all over the region, and are considered the least interesting (but the cheapest)of the wines from the region.

    One of the challenges of looking at wines through terroir is trying to figure out hwo specific or general can we get with our terroir?…. “Loire” terroir means nothing (as does, arguably, Napa or Sonoma). Chinon (or Alexander Valley) is much more precise – and recognizable as a characteristic.

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