Thursday, May 20, 2010
I'm Off to A Big S.H.I.T. Event
I'm off to Northern Italy for the "Where did Teroldego?" event put on by the Sustainable Heroes of Italian Teroldego. This is a new organization to me. Frankly, I don't know S.H.I.T. However, in my capacity as one of the finest wine bloggers on the planet I am invited to countless wine festivals and events all over the world. It's not easy to choose which events to attend. But I have come up with a solution. I attend the ones that pay the most money for me to show up. No, they don't give me cash. But it costs them quite a bit to cover my airfare, hotel, gambling addiction, propensity for hookers (though I do prefer the cheapest ones, if only to educate my olfactory buds) and laundry. You'd think this would guarantee my praise of their wines. You'd be right. Except if I go and there's an actual wine expert there, then I just parrot his opinions. I mean, come on, let's face it, no one's heard of Teroldego. I thought it was the island next to Trinidad. Turns out I won't need my snorkel. Except for the cheap hookers.
Yes, I am going on a junket, though they told me I was taking a plane. Aren't junkets those slow Chinese boats? No? Oh. I'm going on the S.H.I.T press junket, though I'm about as much a member of the press as Octomom is a member of the human race. I looked it up, like I had to for Teroldego, and the word "junket" comes from the Old English for a reed basket that was used to carry fish. So now I know why I was invited along with all the other bloggers. I'm a widemouth basshole.
The S.H.I.T. producers are anxious for their wines to gain further exposure. So they asked around about who the most influential writers are on the Internet. None of them were the least bit interested, so they asked a bunch of bloggers to visit them and taste and write about their wines. They'd already booked the hotel anyway. It will be a crash course in Teroldego for us, and a good dose of American ignorance for them. I'm excited to learn all about this mysterious grape. I'll be one grape closer to joining the Wine Century Club! It's long been my goal to taste more grape varieties made into wine than I have IQ points, and now that I'm up to 45, I'm but 7 grapes away from my goal! And if there's a Teroldego Gris, which you'd think there would have to be, I'll be even closer.
This wine journalism thing is really cool. I went out and got a WSET credential (Wine Studyin' and Elevator Training), a CSW (Certified Sycophant in Wine), and passed my First Level of the M.S. Exam (Fun With Corks--How to Look Like A Walrus), so I qualified to have my own blog filled with opinions and facts I made up on the spot. Now here's the really cool part. Turns out you don't have to go to school to get a journalism degree! Who knew? No, it turns out that if you type, you're a journalist. This explains a lot. Like Alice Feiring and Tim Fish (hey, no wonder he gets so many junkets, he's a fucking Fish!) and Leslie Sbrocco. So, look at me, I'm a wine journalist. I'm going to Northern Italy. Which is right next to Trinidad, I'm pretty sure.
Look for my daily reports about my trip. You'll be able to live vicariously through my crappy photography and tales of fascinating seminars I'll be nursing my hangovers through. I know one thing. Those Teroldego guys better not be using a lot of oak on their wines. If there's one thing I know, it's too many wines in the world use too much oak, and I'm not afraid to point it out. That's just me, I have one opinion and I never get tired of it. Just because you've produced a wine from your family's vineyards for seven generations, that doesn't mean I can't teach you a thing or two. I'm not just going to roll over and say nice things about your Teroldegos because you invited me on a press fish basket. No, I'm going to be critical, I'm going to educate you about wine bloggers. We're not to be trifled with. We don't get rich writing a wine blog. We do it for passion, we do it for our twenty-five regular readers, we do it because our voices need to be heard. We do it as a way of learning more and more about our favorite subject--ourselves. We do it to learn about wine, there is so much I don't know. For example, I don't know S.H.I.T.