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Tom Wark


You wrote: "most of today's wines are not made by common sense, but by marketer and machine"

Im not sure what you mean by "Marketer and Machine" but I do know that "most" means at least 51%.

How can you say with any confidence that 51% of the wines produced tody are made by "marketer and machine"? You don't know this.

No one defends "Natural" better than you. You are my go to resource. But, to suggest that 51% of all wines produced today are somehow unauthentic strikes me as the same kind of hyperbole that the worst of the Natural champions have too long gotten away with.



If we just looked at supermarket wines we'd have the #s covered, wouldn't we?

To suggest otherwise is a bit naive, no?

How much wine does Gallo/Bronco produce? And that is just in North America without going to mass market brands in Chile or the rest of the world.

I have no problem with my eyeballing the worlds wine and saying more than 1/2 of the wines are made this way.

Thanks as always for reading, and commenting.

Tom Wark


So, you meant "most of the wine drunk today", not "most of the wines", the latter implying that 51% of all the wines produced today are made by "marketer and machine".

But I think you should have a problem "eyeballing the world's wines and making this determination. The U.S. alone has over 9,000 wineries. You can't possibly know the conditions of production or marketing for all the wines these 9,000 wineries produce, let alone the 1,000s of other wineries in the world.

Again, you are my go-to for Natural wine. But suggesting that half of all the wines made in the world are nothing more than products of marketing and machine is the same problematic thinking that has plagued other promoters of Natural wine who regularly suggest that anything other than "natural" wine is either bad for your or made in an an underground factory where rash-producing chemicals are use rather than grapes.


9,000 wineries at what kind of production? When you have many little wineries that have about 5acres or less, or even 10 acres or less, many who make under 2,000 cases. But then you have this.. (from the New Yorker in 2009)

Franzia’s objective is to sell as much wine as possible—he sells twenty million cases a year now, which makes Bronco the fourth-largest winery in the United States, and would like to reach a hundred million—

Oh, let's not forget about Gallo's or LVMH champagne brands... or Conchy y Toro or... (keep on going). They squelch the many little wineries that add up to 9,000.

Tom: These kinds of brands that ranked in the Drinks Business story are what I am talking about.


Recipe wines.

I'm willing to be open about this and say that I am wrong, but can you show me some numbers here? Help me understand? If I compiled supermarket wine sales, I could end this conversation here. But you have more access than I do, so please, give it a go, and support your point so I can see the light.


I'm not sure I'd have framed it as "made by marketer and machine", but there is no doubt in my mind that "recipe wines" dominate the market - i.e., wines made to fulfill a certain profile, with mechanical and/or chemical interventions aimed at reaching certain targets of flavour, color, pH, etc. Uniformity is what the biggest brands aim for, and that's at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from what natural winemakers are doing - or any winemaker seeking to express the specificity of grape, terroir and vintage. Tasting cabernet sauvignon at wine competitions yields a great majority of highly similar wines that taste of enology, more than of region or vineyard specifics. In volume, the majority of wine drunk on the planet is made in the winery, with a great range of interventions.

Without going into any kind of value judgment about quality, innocuousness or taste, the fact that modern enology goes well beyond tweaking or correcting, but deeply sculpts the great majority of high-volume wines (and therefore the great majority of wine) is a fact that is very hard to deny.

Tom Wark


If when you wrote "most of today's wines are not made by common sense, but by marketer and machine" you meant those wines most likely to show up on shelves of supermarkets in Pierre, South Dakota, then what you should have written is that "Most of today's most commonly consumed wines are made by marketer and machine. But you didn't write that.

You made the same kind of statement that too many really pernicious Natural wine defenders make: you suggested that most wines produced today are manufactured.

But the fact of the matter is, while most of the wine drunk today costs under $10 a bottle and is purchased by folks who simply want something wet, alcoholic and fruity, and that are made predominantly by the brands on the Drinks Business list, the VAST MAJORITY of the wineS produced today are made my small wineries located across the country and produce relatively small amounts of wine. And you've indicted most of them with the way you wrote your statement. Those wineries don't deserve it.

Here's the bottom line: If you think the majority of the 9,000 wineries in the United States and the majority of the wineries across the globe are simply manufacturing wine according to marketers with absolutely no reference to anything else, then say so. However, if you are only referring to the 10 or 20 largest suppliers in the world, then say that. If you don't make this distinction then you literally tar 50% of all winemakers in the world with the "manfacturing and marketing" brush.

Cheers...and with respect,




What are you arguing about.

I honestly don't have a clue. Marketing and machine?

I was playing with alliteration. I'm talking recipe.

I'm a writer, I was writing. But I meant it. Marketing? We think the consumer wants this kind of wine so we're going to make it this way. Okay?

Your last graph; Please don't put words into my piece. I wasn't talking about the United States or the 9,000 wineries. That's your issue. Not mine.

Best, Alice

Tom Wark

I"m not trying to put words in your mouth.

I'm saying that this is about as far from the truth as you can get:

"most of todays wines are not made by commonsense and vintage, but by marketer and machine"

In fact, I'd wager the exact opposite is true.

Erika Toni

Natural wine is surely not a passing fad, although the opinions are divided. It is in fact the ‘in thing’ right now, but I believe natural wine lovers have a good reason behind the strong attachment that they share with it. It is no infatuation and certainly not something that would fade out soon. Natural wines have been there since time immemorial. Moreover, the natural wine movement stemmed from a combined consciousness that arose in the wake of rapid industrialization of viticulture and wine making. I completely agree with the statement, “many times--though not always--the ancients had something to teach us way more than the modern laboratory does. Cleanliness of course is key”. Here is another great article on wines https://tango.tours/everything-need-know-wine/ for beginners.

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