Definition: pleonasm: the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea
I have a new word for Webster’s – eno-pleonasm: the use of more winemaking techniques than necessary to make a wine.
Winemakers today seem to lack confidence, or perhaps it’s a personal vision. Most of all, it’s a lack of a solid tradition. Not so many years ago, winemakers didn’t have to give much thought to the style of their wine. That was determined by tradition: you knew what your wine was supposed to taste like and you made it like your father and grandfather and great-grandfather did. That was good and that was bad. A lot of bad wine was made because little thought was put into it, but a lot of good wine was made because the winemaker had a clear sense of history and time and what that meant to their wine. This confidence meant change came slowly. Of course, this meant that many beneficial changes were too slowly accepted, but it also meant that regional character was safe from the whims of the wine fashion market. No longer is this true.
Today winemaking has taken on the same emptiness as the fashion runways of Milan and Paris, where it is more important to shock than create real clothing. Today’s wines are all-to-often like the bizarrely dressed models prancing down the runway in an outfit that no one could really wear in real life – or to put it in wine terms – have with dinner.
Too many of today’s winemakers create eno-pleonasms using every intervention at their disposal instead of making real wine, because they don’t really know what they want and, as a result, are slaves to the fashion world instead of wine with food world.