The waiter pours him a taster from the bottle of Gavi di Gavi, an Italian white wine. “Mmmm, it’s like a good Montrachet,” Murray says. “I think it’s an excellent choice.” Every minute or so for the next few, Murray declares how excellent the pasta is. “Oh, this is lovely,” he observes mid-mastication. “Yes, really delicious.” I ask him what kind of wine a Gavi di Gavi is. Murray discloses that it is a “varietal”. I nod as though I know what that means. It certainly tastes nice. “Varietal means expensive,” he adds.
Murray is a bullshitter, classically so, someone who doesn’t even care if what they say is true.
So, lets dissect what Murray says about the wine he is drinking.
First of all, we must note, Gavi di Gavi is objectively nothing like Montrachet. If you don’t have an opinion on it, that’s fine, but if you’re pretending to know about wine then this Gavi must be fairly unique.
Gavi di Gavi is from Italy, is made from the grape varietal (I’ll come to that) Cortese. Montrachet is a village in Burgundy making wine from Chardonnay.
Gavi is light-medium bodied should be crisp, with orchard fruits and maybe white peach and unoaked etc. Montrachet is full boded, oaked usually has a lot more stone fruit dominant when young and more nutty, earthy flavours when mature.
“Varietal” means grape variety, it couldn’t be a word any less relevant to cost. Even in context Murray makes no sense, Gavi di Gavi is a geographic region and Cortese is the varietal.
Either Charles Murray is a bullshiter, that article has its tongue firmly in its cheek or the FT copywriters don’t know jack about wine.