Scented Quote of the Day from Gérard Margeon: On Dominant Tastes in Wine Today and Smell Blindness



Gérard Margeon is the head sommelier to Alain Ducasse restaurants and supervises the wine cellars of an international group regrouping some 20 restaurants among which is the Louis XV in Monaco which alone possesses some 500 000 wine bottles. In an interview he gave to Elle à Table Sept-Oct 2010, he explains what the problem is regarding the education of taste in wine in France where categories such as bitterness and acidity are getting shortchanged. The possible parallels with tastes in perfume are rather interesting to consider.

"However the generation of the 35-45 year olds which is "in power" was educated to privilege the comfort of their palates. They therefore go easily towards sweetness while acidity and bitterness are taboo words for them. The wines in which this youth is interested are instantaneous flavors albeit poorly evolutive,...


primitive fruitiness with a sensuality which is a bit lacking and which leaves no lasting impression in the mouth. Why would they deliver the message of the ecosystem when this generation wants to live fast and does not know how to smell anymore? Who stops nowadays on a country road to smell some honeysuckle, hawthorn, broom or a linden blossom? There are wines that smell of a mown ditch in the springtime, of freshly cut wild herbs drying in the glare of the sun. But nobody is moved anymore by all of these aromas that one finds in some wines. This is the reason why the wood has a tendency to supersede the land."

The original quote in French:

"Cependant la génération des 35-45 ans, celle qui est "au pouvoir", a été éduquée dans un confort de bouche. Elle va donc facilement vers le sucré, tandis que l'acidité ou l'amertume sont pour elle des mots tabous. Les vins auxquels cette jeunesse s'intéresse sont des saveurs instantanées mais médiocrement évolutives, du fruité primaire à la sensualité un peu courte, sans longueur de bouche. Pourquoi donneraient-ils le message de l'écosystème, quand cette génération veut aller vite et ne sait plus sentir. Qui s'arrête aujourd'hui dans les chemins pour respirer du chèvrefeuille, de l'aubépine, du genêt ou une fleur de tilleul? Il y a des vins qui sentent le fossé de printemps fauché, les herbes sauvages tout juste coupées et séchant en plein soleil. Mais on ne s'émeut plus de toutes ces odeurs que l'on retrouve dans certains vins. C'est pour cela que le bois a tendance à prendre le dessus sur le terroir."



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