Tag Archives: great wine

Dr. Wilfred Van Gorp Discusses “Good” vs. “Great” Wines: Part 2

Dark red wine in a glassAs opposed to “crowd pleasers,” wines that nearly any palate can appreciate, truly incredible and more often than not, rare wines come at a premium, due to limited bottling runs, age, or historical value. Although one could easily name a host of incredible wines from France, Italy, Spain, the United States, or any of the world’s other wine-producing regions, I have chosen to spotlight a few examples from a wine-centric dinner party I had the pleasure of attending.

Some guests began with a 2002 F.X. Pichler Smaragd Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Grüner Veltliner from Austria, an assertive white with excellent minerality and a bright finish. Moving on, we opened a 2004 M. Chapoutier L’Ermite from the France’s Rhône Valley, as well as a bottle of 1978 Remoissenet Père & Fils Richebourg. This delectable Burgundian red is 100 percent pinot noir and hails from the Côte de Nuits. Paired wonderfully with the meal, we enjoyed two grand cru Burgundies, a 2001 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Musigny, and a 2001 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes-Mares. Another stand out bottle to compliment dinner, the 1989 Haut-Brion truly encapsulated modern Bordeaux style at its best. What distinguishes these wines as “great?” I doubt that any person asked would provide the same answer. Even so, when every element of a wine’s character from nose to finish holds in balance, that wine likely deserves recognition as excellent in every regard.

About the Author: 

With nearly three decades of experience in his field, Wilfred Van Gorp, PhD, currently serves as an Adjunct Professor/Faculty at Fordham University, New York Medical College, and Argosy University.


Dr. Wilfred Van Gorp Discusses “Good” vs. “Great” Wines: Part 1

In an article published online by Food & Wine, writer Lettie Teague delves into the conundrum of “good” versus “great” wines, a subject that clinical neuropsychologist Wilfred Van Gorp, PhD, also finds fascinating. Here, Dr. Van Gorp offers his perspective on a topic that will intrigue oenophiles everywhere.

For the wine connoisseur in search of perfection, or at least the closest thing to it, the acquisition of a deliciously drinkable bottle could certainly qualify as work, albeit work of the most pleasurable nature. Due to a worldwide glut of growers and producers, as well as recent technological and scientific advancements that have asserted a noteworthy influence on viticulture practices, one can easily find a decent selection of reds and whites for less than $25. The characteristics that separate a good wine from a great wine are debatable, but most oenophiles would agree that balance and structure each play considerable roles in this qualitative form of comparison.

When wine enthusiasts speak about balance, they usually reference proportions of fruit to tannin, with elements like acidity, minerality, and terroir also coming up in conversation. Categorizing a great wine, however, tends to become slightly more complex, as judgment standards hinge heavily on several key factors. The status of a winemaker, expert opinion on whether a particular vintage went from vine to barrel or bottle during an exceptional harvest season, and the price of the wine itself all contribute to reputation.