As I drink more and more, I'm becoming increasingly sensitive to alcohol in wines. I just detest high-alcohol wines, the kind that make you want to dip your head after 2 glasses.
Wine is food. Food is wine. The two are inseparable, and if you look at them as separate, competing elements of a meal, then you are sadly, sadly misguided, mistaken, and flat out moronic. If a wine does not pair well with food, it has no place on the table. End of discussion. And high-alcohol wines do not marry well with any cuisine. They relate particularly well with the fast food crowd, who need flabby monstrosities to match their greasy, processed foods, but for civilized lovers of delicacy, they serve no purpose than those times when you want to get your Italian girlfriend drunk, fast.
The more I drink German riesling, the more I value balanced, restrained wines, where alcohol plays a key, supporting role. Alcohol is important in a wine, no doubt, but it should never reveal itself. Like the music producer who stays in the shadows while the artist collects her Grammy, alcohol should never be a dominant factor in a wine. Never. The minute the fiery smell of alcohol is present in a wine's bouquet, it loses it's expression. Like an overbearing stage parent, the wine has little chance to present it's true interpretation of the terroir and vintage, if alcohol is too dominant of a force.
Americans (and Australians) are to blame for this, but really, they're to blame for the vast majority of the world's problems, so should we be surprised? Wines that are overbearingly sweet, with non-existent tannins and port-like alcohols are morbidly obese, much like the demographic they serve. Is it really a wonder that 65% of Americans are obese or overweight? Wine reflects the people, and Americans deserve their hideous wines.
Just don't force them on others, and try to convince people who have true taste that this is what wine should taste like.
As it's been said, if you can finish an entire bottle, then it could not have been bad. I can easily finish a bottle of fine, subtle, minerally Mosel riesling. Can I say the same about a 15% bomb?