Dear Wine Master,
Why might a wine be described as ”out of balance”?
Dear Wine Lover,
All kinds of visuals come to mind when talking about wine and balance! Usually, however, it isn’t anything to do with losing one’s own balance, rather an observation on the success (or otherwise) of the winemaker’s battle of wits with the climatic conditions prior to and during the grape harvest.
Winemakers, you understand, are ”driven” to produce the perfect wine! The Holy Grail of their art is to create a wine that when ready to drink displays such harmony of ripe fruit and acidity that the result is said to be in perfect balance.
Now, your own experience, probably confirms that this marriage of fruit and acidity/tannins is not always satisfactory. The reasons for a wine to be ”out of balance” could be selected from one or more of the following:
The winemaker has no idea what he is up to!
The harvest had been a disaster, making it impossible to produce a balanced wine.
The wine is still in its infancy and not yet ready to drink.
The wine is too old with fruit drying up.
Thankfully, most wines offered for sale these days are in very good condition. There is nothing more mouth-watering than a wine rich in fruit by made delicious by the balancing of acids and/or tannins.
You might enjoy Tainted Wine for more information about the pitfalls to look for.