Dr. John E. Hudelson, author of Wine Faults: Causes, Effects and Cures, is from Ellensburg, Washington. He has vast experience in the wine industry from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast. In addition to currently teaching at Washington University’s World Wine Program, Dr. Hudelson has taught at several colleges. He worked in the wine industry as a researcher and wine chemist. Today he is co-owner of North River Methode Champenois Wines. Dr. Hudelson’s topic for the International Wine Tourism Conference is “East, West and Middle: Approaches to Sparkling Wine Tourism.”
I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Hudelson about his wine journey and his ideas about wine.
How did your wine journey begin?
My wine journey began, “one-half century ago, when I shared a bottle of wine with a friend at my high school graduation dinner, at the newly established tasting rooms along California’s Hwy. 101.”
What are the best practices for tasting rooms?
“Depends on where the tasting room is and who the clients are that you wish to attract. The minimum requirements are: good lighting, attentive personnel, clean glassware, and good atmosphere (no perfumes or bad odors). The serious Enotourist will overcome most of the other hardships so often associated with tasting rooms — poor signage, difficult location, bad roads, even shabby interior– as long as the wine is good.”
What are your thoughts on whether champagne or sparkling wine is a celebratory beverage or an everyday beverage?
“For me, it’s an everyday requirement! But, I also own a company (North River) that makes sparkling wine.”
In your opinion, how much of the wine that reaches consumers is faulted? Do most consumers recognize faults? Or do they just decide they do not like wine?
“Thank God, there is less and less really bad wine being produced today. It is often associated with the region and how the wine is kept by the consumer. Even Champagne becomes oxidized after years in the bottle.
Having taught a course in Wine Faults to undergraduate college students for the past seven years, I do not believe that bad wine turns novices off the beverage.
What is operative in that decision is that most of the people raised in a family that drinks wine (even faulty wine) at dinner will like it; whereas, a substantial percentage of people raised in a “dry” family will decide that they do not like wine.
It does seem that when the taster associates faults with a certain variety or style of wine, it may influence their preferences.”
Stop by the International Wine Tourism Conference to listen to Dr. John Hudelson’s presentation, “East, West and Middle: Approaches to Sparkling Wine Tourism.”
Article by Kathy Sullivan