In discussing his criteria for a good everyday wine, Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser writes:
But above all, a wine has to be delicious. And if I have to define the delicious-factor, it means a wine has a really good fruit-acid balance with emphasis on high natural acidity. Further, if it’s a red wine, the winemaking—as in tannin management and use of oak—also has to be good—and balanced.
I don’t disagree with this. Certainly fruit/acid/tannin balance is essential to wine quality. But is that all there is to “deliciousness”?
Many (certainly not all) $10-$12 supermarket wines have fruit/acid balance in that they are neither flabby nor too tart. One might argue that the reds typically lack tannins since “smooth” seems to be what they aim for. But even with more backend structure I wouldn’t call most of these wines delicious.
So what more is required for a wine to be “delicious”?
To me delicious wines have vibrancy and energy. The fruit must be either juicy or rich and have clarity and precision. In the mouth, the wine should dance. It should leave an impression of movement executed with grace and have a finish that feels complete with no exposed acidity to turn the wine sour or harsh tannins to make the wine seem fragmented. These are qualities I only occasionally find for under $20. It’s almost always the finish that fails.
How would you define “delicious”?