What wine do you hate ... and what would it take to get you to try it?

Anyone not a fan of carbonic maceration? I’m quite afraid of the synthetic, bubble gum note… :confused:


With you on that one. I would leave a room to avoid Rose.

And - holy moly - blush.

And mulled wine.

I’d stay in the room for Prosecco, but be terrible company.


OK, let’s wade in on this lovely topic.

First - rosé - come on guys! Good rosé is fantastic. It has incredible versatility - fish, seafood, salads, cold meats, antipasti, cheeses, summer, spring, sun and shade, aperitif, main course or dessert… The best ones also offer serious depth and complexity. Oh boy… Where to begin? Domaine Tempier, of course, from Bandol - the heart and soul of great rosé, made from one, some or all of four great Mediterranean varieties - Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, those top notes of garrigue from the rocks and mountains, and iodine from the sea, that heart of vibrant strawberry fruit, that brilliant acidity, that fabulous length, that fat viscosity… Having said that, you’re never paying less than £25 a bottle. If this wine doesn’t knock your socks off, I don’t know what will… The Sylvain Pataille is admittedly a tremendous one, but it’s a semi-experimental wine and arguably not representative of the rosé category as a whole.

For a rosé in a more reasonable price range, I strongly recommend this:

I’ve been enjoying this all summer. OK, “summer”.

They also make good rosé in Navarra and Rioja, mostly from Garnacha I think.

Second - Pinotage. I’m with you there, people. Every time, no matter how expensive, or how high the quality, all I can smell is burnt rubber. And I know this is a terribly distasteful thing to say, but it makes me think of the Soweto uprising of 1976, where they were using burning tyres to barricade the roads. An unfortunate coincidence and not a good mental image - but it’s what comes to mind every time. And the weirdest thing is that Pinotage is a hybrid of two fantastic varieties! My recommendation to South Africa: kindly stop making wine from this grape.

Third - Prosecco - am absolutely totally with you on this. The current national fervour is unutterably irritating. Ninety percent of prosecco is utter rubbish. Thin, cheap, unbalanced, characterless, either too acidic or too flabby, big bubbles, ugh! Filth! I resolutely refuse to drink it. Disclosure: as a Catalan, I have cava to defend and I resent the popularity of prosecco, which is mostly at cava’s expense. But cava has a chance again to move away from its previously “cheap” reputation and start showing that it is, for the most part, very very good (and can often be expensive, and rightly so). Having said that, prosecco is mediocre in its own right, and I would campaign against it regardless. Note how no one is able to name a single prosecco maker or brand (unlike say with champagne or English sparkling wine). It’s a triumph of a generic concept, and an unpalatable one at that. In my head the word “prosecco” is always uttered in a whiny, nasal voice, with a high-rise-terminal (that irritating habit of making assertions sound like questions - a form of relentless insecurity and fear of commitment).

Fourth - NZ Sauvignon Blanc. I cannot agree here with some of the posts. The good stuff is a revelation (Greywacke, Cloudy Bay, Dog Point, and even the affordable Tinpot Hut, Auntsfield, and others) - yes, grass and citrus and gooseberry but soooo refreshing, so vivid, so full of energy and intensity and soaring perfume, and you’d be surprised to see how they age. I like the stuff. I do think it has limited application, but at the right moment, it’s delicious.

My ha’penny’s worth!


@ricard re NZ Sauvignon Blanc

absolutely - I have been happily drinking 2012 & 2013 Greywacke this year and it continues to please (me) while French SB of a similar vintage and price falls flat

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Good man, discerning. And brave to knock the French stuff, very brave.

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Roses are much like Skodas: my head says I have to accept they can now be very good; but my heart still wouldn’t let me actually buy one.


Gosh. I think everything has been covered here! I agree re a lot of SB, a lot are samey and if I want a tropical bomb I’ll buy a can of Lilt thanks! Having said that, some Loire SB can be tremendous and some NZ ones are exceptional.

Rosé? Yes to quite a lot, but that Blossom Hill stuff was enough for me to offer to drive home last time it was offered! Bleugh.

One that I never really took to was Aussie Semillon-Chardonnay blends. I love both grapes individually, but I always found the blends a bit oily. It wouldn’t take much for me to try it again though, I’m happy for someone to point out a good one!

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I heartily recommend Moss Wood:

Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon - Moss Wood

although it is now a few years since I last tried it and it isn’t seemingly one offered by TWS

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oops - that’s a Semillon-SB blend…so back to square one

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Good try though!

For me the best Sauvignon Blancs are from the Loire, the late Didier Dagueneau’s wines are amazing. The Henri Pelle Menetou Salon wines on the WS list are also great terroir based wines.

Good call on Semillon Chardonnay, never tried a good one either.

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Hate is a strong word…but there are guilty culprits!

Aussie shiraz - jammy, manky, over-alcoholic and somehow manages to be boring. I was hoping as mentioned it was an immature palate but upon attending the ws Aussie tasting every shiraz there was awful! I do like a good rhone so it’s not that i don’t like a ‘bigger’ wine. Even the penfolds at 70 quid a bottle i tried at another tasting was naff!

I won’t have a thing said against cheap rose and prosecco, it’s been keeping hen do’s around the country afloat for years!

Every wine has its occasion, be it to the untutored or uncaring and in many cases (no pun intended) lead to better things when the time is right to explore…as my younger days of skol and lambrusco will confirm.

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I agree with you but I can also see why people like that general style though. Maybe they see us having wines that are lean and green… :stuck_out_tongue:


There are exceptions to the rule (D’Arenburg Dead Arm for example) but I’m usually underwhelmed by Aussie Shiraz. Nothing tops Northern Rhone, but I like Greek Syrahs with their black olive notes. Hawkes Bay Syrah is good as well.

Syrah not Shiraz is the bottom line stylistically for me (and importantly for my other half).

I would have agreed about Aussie Shiraz’s in the past but much easier to find quality in Australia now. Admittedly that isn’t at the £10 a bottle price point, more like £15-20. But there are some much more mellow wines especially after a good decant. The WS does a Plantagenet which is lovely and the Dead Arm is a nice wine too. They’ve certainly turned a corner for me but you can still get the over jammy “hand me a spoon” stuff too!!

I would have to say “hate” wines are Beaujolais. Just never enjoyed it other than a £50 bottle which is hardly a realistic way of getting me onto it. Beyond that there are wines I’d generally avoid like overly acidic NZ Sav B, Prosecco or Rose. On the Rose front, I went to Whispering Angel when in Provence and their top end stuff is lovely but not what I would generally class as Rose. I think it’s the Zinfandel or Grenache blush stuff that makes me shudder rather than the Pinot driven ones.

Chateauneuf de Pape reds, specifically grenache.

I opened a 2005 Usseglio (not from WS) last night and am not really enjoying it. Too crude, too alcoholic, too big.

I’m thinking that we should set up a table at the next Generation Wine event with a selection of these poor, unfortunate, unloved wines … and see if we can’t change a few people’s perceptions.

We could list these categories, then select the “wine that will change your mind” version of it to taste. We would select one for each of these:

Fino / Manzanilla Sherry
Cava (& by popular acclaim, Prosecco)
Qvevri White (or Oak aged white, e.g. Rioja)
German Riesling (Spätlese?)
NZ Sauvignon Blanc
Red from an ‘unknown’ country (Lebanon, Israel, Uruguay, …?)
Sparkling Red
Dessert wine



Love the unknown country…i’d even add spice and make it a blind tasting with the answers revealed later in the evening. So much more fun! “The Mcintosh table of mystery”

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Good idea for a discussion.

I can totally see the problem with rose, though in my case the expectation always outweighs the reality. There is some good stuff out there, but it’s so expensive.

My personal bete noire is prosecco, Can’t believe noone has mentioned it - total marketing hype. I have never tasted a decent one. If I’m drinking cheap fizz cava beats it every time. I’ve done blind tastings which bear this out (though the lack of colour is also off-putting). I’ve resolved not to drink it again!


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Brilliant idea @robert_mcintosh - I can think of some examples already that would do the “change your mind” job on some of those categories. You’d want an upper price limit on them all though, say £20.

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