Wine making is a bit of a science. You’re likely aware there are “wine regions” in the world, famously in France and parts of California. Why those places in particular? It’s all about the weather. And to some degree, soil. But soil can be moved around, weather can’t. Which is why places like Scotland, known for having depressing, drab and craptatsic weather all year round, are generally not suited for wine at all. For the most part, it’s just common knowledge that you can’t grow grapes in the wet, dreary Scottish climate. So naturally some dude did.
Christopher Trotter is living out the dream of being the world’s first Scottish wine maker and he just produced his first batch of Scotland’s own brew. And apparently it tasted like absolute garbage.
In fairness, creating wine from grapes grown in the armpit of Europe is likely a trial and error process. Experts have given trotter some tips for improving the next batch, like chilling the grapes more quickly after harvest next time to prevent oxidation, and use dry ice to lock in that fruitiness.
So what did the first Scottish vintage taste like? The owner of a local wine merchant was among the first to try it and gave this inspiring quote; “It’s not yet drinkable but, that said, I enjoyed it in a bizarre, masochistic way.”
Keep in mind this is a quote from a Scotsman, a country whose lone culinary achievement on the world stage is haggis. Haggis! It’s a sheep’s guts and oatmeal. But this wine is undrinkable.
Trotter is expecting the next round to go much better, and while he’s not going to ever produce a million dollar bottle of wine, his goal is to produce a decent quality table wine, something he thinks he’ll be able to do. Reach for those stars, man.
There is precedent, at least, for Scotland to succeed here. Where they fail on the actual food side of cuisine, they excel at the drink half. Scotch isn’t called scotch for no reason, the Scots have mastered whiskey like nobody’s business, and they’ve been brewing beer there for literally thousands of years. The Scots are basically masters of getting plastered. This wine is just the next generation. Once they master that, it’s on to rum and they’ve basically conquered the booze world. And that’s what Braveheart was all about, probably.