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A Forbes article -- apparently written by an American -- titled "How To Tell If A Wine Will Age" has this passage:

The other structural elements of body, alcohol, and sugar can also point to an age-worthy wine. Full-bodied wines, which also tend to be high in alcohol, are more likely to age well, but it’s important that all of that body is supported by acid, tannins, or both. That rich, soft $10 red purchased at the supermarket is easy-drinking now, but without firm tannins or bright acidity, it will not improve at all over time. Sugar can also help a wine age, though the perception of sweetness will diminish through the years.

Assuming this is American English, is there any reason why the verb in the that-clause is not "be" but "is"?

I thought it was only informal BE that would allow "is" in this type of clause.

EDIT

Here, the writer is saying that some cheap reds may lack in tannin or acidity, in which case the strong flavor of such cheap wines is going to diminish over time.

So, I don't think the writer is making a factual statement in the bold clause, but rather is presenting a condition under which full-bodied wines can age well without losing the full-bodiedness over time.

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    It's unclear to me why that sentence wouldn't be just descriptive, in your opinion. That's just what it is, wine is sour, basta! I don't know what 'this type of clause' you have in mind. – vectory Jan 7 at 3:42
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    @vectory: Read in context with the following sentence, "it’s important that all of that body is supported by acid, tannins, or both" seems like it must mean "it’s important that you make sure that all of that body is supported by acid, tannins, or both", not "an important fact is that all of that body is supported by acid, tannins, or both". – herisson Jan 7 at 3:52
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    They are talking about am existing full bodied wine taken as example, not whatever I am going to do. In context, that's surely not about making wine, but buying. The subjunctive in American English be archaic; it is at least almost archaic. – vectory Jan 7 at 4:06
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    @vectory Please see my EDIT. Also, I respectfully disagree that 'subjunctive' is archaic in American English. The present subjunctive, the one we're discussing, is actually way more prevalent in American English than in British English. – JK2 Jan 7 at 4:30
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    Possible duplicate of What is the difference between "It is necessary for him to do something" and "It is necessary that he do something"? (Shoe's answer explores the 'mandative subjunctive' vs indicative preference issue.) – Edwin Ashworth Jun 22 at 10:38
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To me, the original sentence seems unobjectionable, and doesn't read as a mistake (unless we use a prescriptive definition of the word "mistake"):

Full-bodied wines, which also tend to be high in alcohol, are more likely to age well, but it’s important that all of that body is supported by acid, tannins, or both.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to look up a discussion of the use of the "subjunctive" in American English, but even though the "present subjunctive" is used, and used more often in general than it is in British English, it isn't always mandatory to use it in contexts like this. I would say that this is just a context where either "is" or "be" is possible. I'd imagine this topic is covered in recent grammars of English; I'd recommend checking to see what they have to say.

  • What do you mean 'recent grammars of English'? – JK2 Jan 23 at 14:04
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The correct answer to your original question is simply that there isn't a reason for it to be "is" instead of "be". It must be a simple writing error from an article that wasn't looked over carefully enough. It was written, rewritten, overlooked, and published by humans; and we are prone to mistakes.

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