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A man and his mountain 2 (2) [1]

“Polyester Wines” is the title of a Wall Street Journal article by Robert Draper reviewing Edward Humes’ book A Man and His Mountain. The book is the biography of Kendall-Jackson winery founder Jess Stonestreet Jackson and Mr. Draper is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. The sidebar to the article says A millionaire becomes a billionaire by marketing banality as ‘premium wine.’  The article says a lot about Jess Jackson and his rise to riches and fame, but it also says a lot about Kendall-Jackson wine and the state of the American wine industry that Jackson promoted as well as the “residual” effects that linger on after his death (Mr. Jackson died in 2011 at age 81). And, it is clear from the article that Mr. Draper takes issue with a lot of things that are portrayed in the book.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Take a sip indeed. Perfect wine? Ha! Today far too many American wines are too big, too heavy and alcoholic, and too sweet. And, many Americans have no idea what goes into the wines they are drinking (to read my article on what is wine click here [2] and to read my article on why wine labeling is important click here [3]).  Many consumers are still swayed by big numbers, believing that if a wine has a big number it has to be good. Perhaps that is the real legacy of A Man and His Mountain. But, just as Mr. Jackson was a man of contradictions, so is today’s wine world. To which I say that what was described in A Man and His Mountain is not the wine of the future – the time’s they are a changin’.  So, like the man said, take a sip. Then you decide!

In Vino Veritas,Sig

John Tilson