Are Americans open to drinking more tannic wines than they have been in the past? My sense is that they are. Certainly, I am. But I think the trend cuts across more than just the taste of tannic wine. Why is it, really, that kale salads are SO popular? Why have bland white spirits mixed with fruit juice given way in their popularity to cocktails with a barrel aged spirit base and the addition of bitters? I think the American palate is in general skewing more towards the bitter, and closer to the savory edge.
How Americans relate to bitter flavors has come under discussion in a couple of different pieces that have come out recently, both of which you might find interesting even if you don't agree with me.
Eric Asimov's excellent piece about Dolcetto in the Times breaks the national silence on a grape that has a big audience back home in Italy, and a big presence on retail shelves in America, but which receives little attention here and no acclaim. I definitely recommend that you give Eric's piece a read. There really is a plethora of inexpensive Dolcetto readily available in the States, and you rarely are paying the oak tax at the register when you buy a bottle. I certainly have been drinking a lot of Dolcetto myself. One of my favorite producers of Dolcetto, by the way, is Flavio Roddolo. I would point you towards either of his two Dolcettos if you want to see what all the fun is about.
listing from Imbibe Magazine. I remember getting the email request from the author of that piece and as I was writing the response it was like, wow, wine after wine, what do these all share that's the same? The answer, of course, was savory and bitter flavors. No fluff stuff, and no General Mills packaging. It is a trend that I've seen in other people's drinking and eating habits as well.
What do you think? Are we Americans getting more savvy about savory?