Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It's time once again to dispel some of the countless myths that surround wine. Creating these myths seems to be part of the game for wine experts, a way to keep ordinary people from understanding and enjoying wine. As HoseMaster, I have taken it upon myself to destroy these myths, reveal them for the hogwash they are. This is the third in my Myth series. You're welcome.
Myth #1 Drinking wine is healthy for you.
The Wine-Industrial Complex has been cooking up fake results for decades now that have convinced most people that drinking moderate amounts of wine is part of a healthy lifestyle. They often site the soothing effects of alcohol, how it relaxes you, relieves stress--sound familiar? The Tobacco-Agricultural Complex used to say the same things about cigarettes in the 50's. The folks who fell for it then, well, they're wishing they'd inhaled asbestos instead. And then there's all this talk about Resveratrol, a supposed antioxidant which was originally devised to add to Chevron's premium grade of gasoline. Whatever Resveratrol's done for mice, it turns out humans are basically unable to absorb it through the stomach. And, really, wine isn't particularly enjoyable as a suppository, though removing a screwtop that way is a wonderful party trick! And then there was the famous "60 Minutes" Wine-Industrial Complex fake segment hosted by Morley Safer (safer than what? Lead poisoning?) about the mythical "French paradox." A bogus study claimed that despite their rich and fatty diet, the French are less prone to heart disease than Americans because they consume more wine with their meals. Yeah, right. So now that the per capita consumption of wine has decreased in France does this mean they will start dying younger? Just more false hope. Drinking wine is not good for your health, friends, we all understand that deep down. Hey, they preserve dead stuff in alcohol--enough said.
High auction bidder with bottle of Screaming Eagle.
Myth #2 Food Wine
How many times have you been at a wine tasting and been told that the wine you were tasting is a "food wine?" Fifty times at least, right? Now how many times have you been in a restaurant and the waiter recommended a dish because it's "wine food?" Never. "Food wine" is a myth. Couldn't be more bogus. Sure, wine accompanies food like stupid accompanies Paula Abdul, but wines aren't MADE to go with food. Someone tells you a wine is a Food Wine, you know it's going to be a lifeless and dull bottle of wine, a wine that can't be sold on its own merits, so they want you to buy it because it will absolutely dazzle you with food! It sucks on its own, like Lionel Ritchie without the Commodores, but pair it with cassoulet and it's brilliant! Has any wine salesperson ever said to you, "You know, I love this wine but it absolutely sucks Sarah-Palin-style with food."? No. So apparently every damn wine is a Food Wine! This is just palin (I mean, plain) stupid. Makes you want to go out and buy a six-pack of Food Beer.
Myth #3 Wines taste better out of the appropriate Riedel glass.
Yeah, right, and I can steal your nose by wiggling my thumb through my fist. How dumb are humans that they believe this? Riedel is the Bernie Madoff of stemware. OK, that's not fair. Bernie Madoff is the Riedel of Wall Street Investors--OK, that's better. Riedel starts from a premise that their specialized glasses feed the wine to the appropriate spot on your tongue for maximum enjoyment of the wine based on the famous tongue map that has sweetness at the tip of your tongue, bitterness on the sides, etc. Only problem is that tongue map was disproven forty years ago. You might as well believe masturbating makes you go blind, which only makes you feel sorry for Guide Dogs. Your tongue doesn't just taste sweetness on the tip, there are no divisions of labor on the tongue, it tastes every one of the six basic tastes everywhere (including tasting umami--which sounds more like a ghetto epithet than a taste, but I digress). The whole Riedel premise is based on bogus science and the results are therefore bogus. But there's nothing like superstition for a license to print money.
Myth #4 Wine judges spit.
OK, they spit, they just don't spit wine. There's no reason to spit wine when one is judging a wine competition. Frankly, it's dirty and disgusting and the Health Department of most major cities won't allow it. Plus, organizers know that a lot more gold medals are awarded when the judges are stinko so they don't even allow spitbuckets. It doesn't take much to see that this is true. Read the results of wine competitions and then compare their results with the scores from major wine publications. There is virtually no correlation between gold medals and scores above 90 points. Why? All the critics and judges are hammered! Wine judges and wine critics are pissed almost all the time. Sure, they want you to believe that they taste the wines blind and sober, but, really, it doesn't matter if they see what the wine is that they're tasting, they're too drunk to read the label anyway. So how do judges stay conscious when tasting 100 wines or more in a day? An awful lot of wine comes out through their noses.