As the popularity of wine has mushroomed in the past 10 years, far too many posers have entered the wine arena. I have grown tired of their pronouncements and dedicate this page to setting people straight. All in all, wine of course, is a very personal thing, but there are some bottles which are magnificent regardless of personal taste, and there are those highlighted here; wines which are known for their name, yet their quality is questionable at best.
DOM PERIGNON AND CRISTAL CHAMPAGE: Two of the most famous champagnes names in the world are also the two most overrated, by far. People drink these so that they can be seen drinking them and heard ordering them. The champagnes lack quality, body and taste compared to truly great champagnes like Veuve Clicquot.
SILVER OAK: We've all grown tired of Silver Oak's silly release parties every year, demanding that people camp out and/or spend weekends in Napa to buy bottles of a good but not great wine. Silver Oak is far from holding a place in the "A" list of Napa cabs any longer and its time for them to relegate themselves to the position they have earned; a decent bottle of cab worth half what they charge.
OPUS ONE: I literally laugh out loud now at people who hold this wine up as some type of standard bearer in the wine industry. Known for its marriage of two of Napa's best known wine-makers and elaborate winery, this wine has never, ever, deserved the acclaim it receives, but particularly recently, when Opus has shown its inability to adapt to the changing wine making conditions of the region while true wine pioneers like Insignia, Pride, Shafer, Colgin, David Arthur and Robert Foley pass them by without even blinking.
PINOT NOIR:That's right, I am listing an entire varietal. Pinot Noir became chic after the success of the movie "Sideways." Pinot is a completely lame red wine that serves no purpose on its own, although can be very helpful when blending certain reds together. A stand alone pinot is a wasted bottle. If you want fruit, drink merlot. If you want body, drink Syrah. If you want both, drink a great cab. Pour the Pinot out and grow up.
FRENCH WINE: That's right, I'm listing an entire country's wine. I am a Napa snob and I proudly admit it, but the thing about French wine is that it is so damn revered for no acceptable reasons. French wine lovers will say that I haven't drunk enough of it or that I can't appreciate it. Balderdash, as they say. I have a different theory; for decades older wine lovers were told that French wine was the Cadillac of the drink until Napa came along and passed it by in the 90s. People who have been told for so long that something is great, generally believe it even when the quality is no longer there. It's the exact reason Tv shows like "Friends" last for 10 years when they should be cancelled after 3. French wine holds nary a candle to Napa and for my money, I place the new crop of Australian wines ahead of the french.