Friday, March 26, 2010

Why scotch is better than wine

I am sick and tired of wine snobs saying how great wine is without giving scotch much respect. Although I do like wine, there are a number of things about scotch which are highly appealing. Below is a list of why I believe that scotch is better than wine in many circumstances.

Scotch can be more complex
One sip from Lagavulin has a more complex melange of flavors than any wine I have ever tasted hands down. Michael Jackson eloquently described it as "The dryness is at first offset by the sweetness of the sherry character. As the palate develops, oily, grassy, and, in particular, salty notes emerge in a long, sustained, aggressive, attack" with a finish "a huge, powerful, bear-hug of peat." Yes, wine can be complex with some fruit notes, but scotch has those plus a dozen other flavors like smoke and peat which are never involved in wine.

After a bottle of scotch you know that scotch
Wine only has about 6 glasses in a bottle. If you are sharing that bottle with people you might only get a glass or two, which is simply not enough to truly get to know it. A 750 ml bottle of scotch is 30 pours of 25 ml. So you have 5 times more times to learn intimately what it tastes like. You will also spread out the time over months instead of days, allowing even stronger memory of it. It truly is a different experience.

Scotch is easier to develop knowledge about
There is seemingly no end to the number of wines in the world and more are popping up every day. There are less than a hundred well established scotch distilleries. Worse yet, wine is very variable based upon the weather of that particular year because of how fickle grapes are. Wheat and barley there is little variation, so there is none of that in scotch. There is a great uniformity from year to year for a scotch, partially because of how tradition based most distilleries are. You can develop knowledge of scotch that does not depreciate over time, thus it is a subject that you can quickly get involved with and converse with others about.

I am not saying that a bottle of scotch is ever going to go better with Italian than a wine, but a good smokey scotch after a grilled steak that is slightly burnt is better than any wine.

So next time a friend is droning on and on about how great a wine is try to impart upon them that scotch can be just as enriching pursuit!

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