Parker speaks out against rising alcohol

on 08/11/11 at 2:46 pm

Wine

Robert Parker has downplayed his effect on wine pricing and styles while criticising wines with an abv over 15%.

In a discussion about increasing alcohol levels sparked by Miguel Torres in Hong Kong, Parker (left) said that healthier grapes from better viticultural techniques were giving greater sugar levels but that the resulting rises in abv were worrying.

“It’s certainly something to be concerned about,” he said, adding: “But when does alcohol become too high? It depends on the type of wine.”

“I don’t think any of us want to see Champagne at 15%, at the same time there are certain Shirazes from the Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale that have the richness and concentration to handle the alcohol.”

Concluding on this topic however, he stated, “If you’ve made a wine at 16, 17, or 18% then that is not a table wine, and should not be sold as table wine; 15% I think is palatable, but above 15%, you start to get into a very grey area.”

Concerning his impact on the wine world over the 33 years since he launched The Wine Advocate in 1978, he said: “I don’t think I was ever as influential as people thought I was”.

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