My sentiments fall along BLIL's line of thinking. It's not that hybrids or native grapes make "bad" wine, I had a bottle of Chambourcin from Westbend in NC recently and it was nice (and $15). But, as I have said many times in the past, it's a world-wide competitive playing field with very little favoritism for the "home team." This becomes more acute when viewed through the lens of limited financial resources. When I visited the Westbend winery they had a nice Cabernet Sauvignon reserve wine but it was like $28. I have a list of 4,926 wines I already wish I had the coin to purchase *before* visiting this winery and nothing I tasted there made this wine leap to the head of the pack.

Curiously, the winemaker made an unannounced visit to my store two weeks later and tasted me on many of the wines I had already tasted. They were all decent but nothing which would create more revenue for my store than other competitor wines. I was very pleasant with the dude but I could also tell he was sort of pissed that I wasn't genuflecting about the wines and placing an order on the spot. But I have a duty to stock wines that will sell with a "right sized" amount of hand sells.

Even before his visit I was considering stocking the Chambourcin because it is different and fairly priced. I still very well might. But I can tell you I am not getting any special orders for Chambourcin (or other hybrids)! And hitting the North Carolina wineries is a pretty popular recreational activity hereabouts. So I am not sure it is 100% "grapism" or such. People here want their Red Diamond Merlot or Joel Gott Zinfandel and lack the level of inquisitiveness to seek out Vidal Blanc, etc.

Personally, I like trying such wines but, again, only if the price is right and doesn't make me think about other wines I am already familiar with for years and thus will go unpurchased because of buying a hybrid grape based wine. Limited cash means you make choices.

As an aside I am curious as to why Chambourcin has turned out more or less a failure in the Loire Valley. There's purportedly about 9,000 acres planted in the Loire but I have yet to see a single French Chambourcin here in the US. Maybe part of the answer to your question lies here?

I can get a nice Picpoul for $10, a killer Gros Manseng for $12, etc. Can I get equal quality and price from a hybrid? Send free sample bottles to Hanes at...