I originally wrote this post for The San Francisco Wine Trading Company on their blog, "Let's Talk Wine." It is reused here with their permission.
This is the dawn of a new era for California wines. After years of trending in overly oaked Chardonnay and highly extracted Pinot Noir in California, a new ethic has been introduced into winemaking: balance. In the country that invented Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, we have grown accustomed to the predictability of taste—even in our wines—and obvious, uniform and sweet flavors have historically won out over nuance and subtlety. It only makes sense that big, bold, hit-you-over-the-head wines were once in vogue in America. However, much has changed since that era. As Americans are developing a greater conscientiousness around the provenance of food and drink, our palates are evolving, too.