Editor's Note: Contributor Jules Van Cruysen has some advice for wine producers: take a page out of the craft beer playbook. Innovation, collaboration, and risk-taking have united the craft beer industry and created a burgeoning market of passionate consumers. Can wine producers mobilize consumers in the same way? –Tom Mansell, Science Editor
The wine market is crowded. There are thousands of wineries all trying to tell a story about what makes them different. It’s a story that wine buyers and potential customers are getting bored of.
Numerous 'classic matches,' combinations of wine and food are simply unbeatable: Sauvignon Blanc and goat cheese, Champagne and caviar or Pinot Noir and duck. But there are many foods that simply don't pair well with wine: hot chili and mustard flavors tend to be ruinous to wine, bitter greens like asparagus and artichokes are difficult at best and even the most well-known wine friendly foods, cheese, isn't all that wine friendly after all.
Marlborough, the new world home of sauvignon blanc, has one of the most vibrant organic and biodynamic sectors of New Zealand’s wine industry. Led by a band of dedicated people and producers, it has moved from being a fringe part of the industry to something the big boys of New Zealand winegrowing are actively experimenting with.