Sunday, June 01, 2008

Red, Red Wine

No really. It's true.What I know about wine would fit on a Post-It note, as shown here. When looking for a bottle of wine, I'm just as likely to be suckered by a nicely designed label as I am by a clever or intriguing name for a vineyard. And the grocery store's wine section is like an art gallery of competing labels. But if you've got grapes on your label, you really didn't think this through and you aren't attracting me to look again. I know grapes make wine, thank you.

The phrase, "Don't judge a book by its cover," likely came into being because book jacket designers were doing a good job of getting people to buy crappy books just by making the covers attractive, whereas some hidden gems went unnoticed because the covers were bland. And so books, like wine, are best purchased upon the recommendation of someone you trust, be that a friend or a critic. But wine critics speak a language I don't understand. I don't know what a "hint of oak" is. "Soft buttery tones" is way too refined for my taste buds to determine. I would not know how to judge a wine's "character." I'm the idiot in the wine section looking at pretty labels.

Cascading with character? Whatever.This ad in today's PLAY magazine in The New York Times jumped out at me. The art is colorful and bold. I didn't even notice the poor copy as I was taken in by the old school illustration of a mountain stream. Then you look at the bottle and hope the art is duplicated there. It is, but not nearly to the effect of the ad. If the label had this sort of color and style, it would catch my eye in the store and I would give it a second look. Then I'd think, "Pinot noir...that was the wine that Paul Giamatti's character was obsessed with in the film Sideways. He was a wine snob in the first degree. And as I recall, pinot noir sales shot up as a result of that film. I hate following trends. I'm not drinking pinot noir. Where's that cheap Australian merlot ?"

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  • Here's my post-it, recalled from a New Yorker column tag -- the nutty aroma of (can't recall) wine comes from the same molecule found in the anal sack of the Japanese weasel. My old CD was a wine snob and using that factoid was one of the high points of my time at the agency.

    By Anonymous ouija repair, at June 2, 2008 at 10:53 AM  

  • Hmmm... cheap Australian merlot.


    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at June 3, 2008 at 2:05 PM  

  • Give me a cabernet or a rioja, and odds are I'll enjoy it. True, some wines are better used to shine jewelry than to drink but as mentioned in the post, you're better off listening to someone who has actually tasted it. Nutty overtones, sweet pine, almond lushness and such should be reserved for only the most anal and snobbish of wine connoisseurs unless they're speaking with a layman with a knack for wine and they just want someone to understand their psycho wine ramblings.

    As for me, let Baccus do the talking.

    Wines I recommend:

    Marques de Caceres 1995 (rioja)

    La Crema 2001 (Pinot Noir - sorry)

    Kendall Jackson 2006 (chardonnay, white)

    Now look at the price tags and tell me you can't find a wine just as good for half the cost and you're lying. A good price range is 12-20 bucks. Over that and you better have taken courses. As for Merlot, it's hit and miss. Some are nice some taste like arsenic flavored ass. Then again, as long as you get hammered, merry and horny, who gives a shit?

    By Blogger joker, at June 5, 2008 at 12:15 PM  

  • Next time you're at a social event where wine snobs are throwing down the nutty overtones, sweet pine, almond lushness and such, try a new one on them. Once, at a predictably pretentious wine-tasting gathering in Dallas, my uncle expressed that a cabernet the group was sampling had a kind of "brushy" texture (complete bullshit). A few of the wine snobs were taken in and agreed with him. Caveat: I also tried this once and the host exclaimed, "You don't know the fuck you're talking about!"

    By Anonymous purple plano, at June 5, 2008 at 4:05 PM  

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