Science has laid to rest two of the great debates of our time. Not only is terroir real, but it even exists outside France.
That, at least, is the bold conclusion of a report from scientists at The Kurniawan Wine Institute of Disinformation (KWID).
Bore on terroir
‘For decades many people thought terroir was just something made up by the French to cover up crap winemaking,’ said Dr Zoe Trope, who led the studies. ‘But our research proves beyond doubt that it really exists.’
Dr Trope and her team studied thousands of different expressions of Malbec from across Argentina and ran the samples through a specially calibrated Flichmann Catenagraph machine to analyse their character.
While all of the wines had some unifying characteristics – mostly dullness – the team were also astonished at the ‘real quantifiable’ differences that emerged.
Fifty shades of meh…
‘Suddenly, one was fat and tedious, one was tannic and boring; one was fruit-driven and soulless, one was floral and monotonous,’ she told Fake Booze. ‘Of course they were all still devoid of interest, but within that spectrum of ‘thoroughly wearisome’ they were all quite distinct.’
Breaking the wines down into their chemical and genetic markers allowed the team at KWID not just to position every sub-region of Argentinian Malbec on a specially created ‘ennui spectrum’, but also to quantify exactly how and why each one was so boringly different from another.
‘This is a hugely important discovery,’ said Dr Trope. ‘Partly because it really annoys the French, but mostly because it proves that terroir is everywhere.
‘Though we have our doubts about Chile.’
Loess is more
As for what creates the changes in wine character, the test-tube botherers can only guess.
‘There are various theories,’ said Dr Trope. ‘We’ve considered wet earth, crushed rocks, chalky minerals, salty minerals, mineral salts, wet stones, alluvial fans and loess.
‘But our best guess seems to be that it’s directly related to the level of bullshit.’