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Robert Sinskey: Common Sense About Wine

Robert Sinskey: Common Sense About Wine

(Photo courtesy Rob Sinskey)

Carrie Strong | Chef's Blade

I had the opportunity to sell and serve a bottle of Robert Sinskey Vineyards Merlot to guests at Vong several weeks ago. When I impressed upon them that the wine was made organically, one guest seemed unsure, assuming the wine itself was organic and had been made without sulfur. He asked if there was sulfur in it, questioning the flavor profile of a sulfur-free wine, assuming any wine associating itself with the term, “organic,” wouldn’t taste good. (I can only assume he had read many negative reviews online of organic, non-sulfurous wines.) I assured him that while also occurring naturally, sulfur was in fact used in the making of this wine but that the grapes used to make it were organic. I added that the bottle I was pouring for him would be every bit as enjoyable as a wine from non-organic grapes. He and his guests enjoyed the first bottle so much that they ordered a second bottle of RSV Merlot.

I have been very pleased with the performance of the RSV Merlot, especially in light of the fact that I had read many articles online of organic wines that for various reasons “sucked.” Robert explained that in the past, many organic wines were organic by neglect (as opposed to adhering to certification standards); and hence were flawed, tarnishing the image of the entire category. He states clearly, “I like to think we are well past that.”

He offers this advice when choosing great wine:

1) Pay attention to the idea that wine and agriculture grew up together. Choose regional wines with character to match cuisines of the same region.

2) New world wines are more dependent on the reputation of the producer.

3) Avoid high scoring wines (i.e. Robert Parker or Wine Spectator 90+) when pairing with food as they tend to overpower the nuances of food

4) Buy wines that are subtle, well balanced, have bright acidity and have the ability to grow on you over the course of the meal.

5) Avoid wines that are too woody and with alcohol levels in the stratosphere.

6) Buy Robert Sinskey Vineyard wine!

Having tasted, sold and researched RSV wines, I can honestly encourage anyone looking to go green when choosing wine to invest in Robert’s wines. Having said that, I can also recommend RSV wines to anyone looking simply to drink great wine!