I love Brunello. I really do. These Sangiovese based wines of Tuscany have a special place in my heart and when well made, can be utterly absorbing and fantastic. However, they have become in the last 10 years, increasingly overpriced. Perhaps they are following the popular lead of Barolo, which has become consistently the highest priced wine in Italy. Regardless, it's hard to find a decent Brunello these days for under fifty or sixty bucks, making what was once the hearty red of Tuscan farmers now the crystal decanted collectors' wine.
And now, it seems, this high-priced wine is now going to have expensive fraud detection. Billed as a "High tech innovation used to protect wine's authenticity" Brunello producers can now seal their wines with holographic images built into the foil caps. I have a hard time figuring out why this is really necessary. Perhaps some Tuscan producer can chime in here and tell me that their sales have taken a nosedive recently due to a flood of fake Brunello flooding the market, but last time I checked, fraudulent versions of this relatively small production wine (in the scope of many appellations in Italy) wasn't really an issue.
So barring any significant threat to authenticity, these shiny little additions to bottles seem like just the next great wine gadget. There's nothing wrong with that of course -- I'm all for experimentation with technology -- but I can't help think that this high tech addition to every bottle comes with a corresponding increase in price. Winemakers may be investing in this technology, but they expect their wine sales to generate a return on that investment, and barring larger production levels, or cheaper production costs, the only way to make that happen is to raise prices.
So I ask my Italian friends: do you really need a hologram on your wine?
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
I'll Drink to That: Karen MacNeil The Most Untrustworthy Wine in the World Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 11/22 I'll Drink to That: CP Lin of Erewhon Warm Up: New Zealand's South Island I'll Drink to That: Bob Cabral of Three Sticks Wines Warm Up: Rotgipfler and Beyond I'll Drink to That: Bernhard Stadlmann of Weingut Stadlmann Vinography Images: Last Light I'll Drink to That: Suzanne Mustacich
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune