Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Feiring Squad Misses The Rapture



They were just gone one day. All of them. It had been prophesied, but who believes prophets? There are rarely real prophets in the wine business. Not for those who’d disappeared anyway. One day the landscape was littered with Natural Wine winemakers, the next day they had vanished quicker than the finish on one of their wines. They weren’t at a conference. They weren’t at a public wine tasting selling their wines to novice wine drinkers drunk on their own righteousness, the deluded who profess that they can only drink Natural Wines or their delicate systems revolt (these folks are often revolting), and spiritual drifters. They weren’t buried in amphorae in a remote canyon, or in shrines of their own making. They’d spent their Earthly lives in shrines of their own making. They were just gone.

It was what they’d all been waiting for. The Rapture.



For a short period of time the prices of Natural Wines skyrocketed. Demand far outstripped supply. It wasn’t unheard of for a thirty dollar bottle to sell in excess of $300. But the winemaker had to have vanished May 16, 2013, the Day of The Rapture. That was what validated that the wines were genuinely “natural.” Just as a painter’s works jump in value upon his death, so the last of the true Natural Wines became priceless. Wines left behind in barrels were confiscated, moved to a central warehouse, and closely monitored by the government to ensure they weren’t manipulated in any way. Professional critics were enlisted to periodically check the barrels to make absolutely sure they were reassuringly faulty and malodorous to normal people. Once bottled, without both sulfites and conscience, in tribute to the vanished winemakers, the wines were auctioned and the money distributed to the widows and children left behind by The Rapture.

Controversy and violent protests broke out in wine regions across the world. Hundreds and hundreds of winemakers who had declared their wines “natural” had been Left Behind. Left behind unjustly, they proclaimed. A spokeswoman emerged, the champion of the Natural Wine movement, and the maligned, still alive, natural winemakers rallied behind her, calling themselves The Feiring Squad.

“Our wines are natural,” The Feiring Squad declared, “and we have the marketing material to prove it. Furthermore, our wines have been declared Natural, been declared Real, been declared Authentic by the experts empowered to declare them so. They have tasted the wines! Did the God who delivered The Rapture ever taste our wines? Who does He think he is? Robert Parker? He may be God, but He’s no Robert Parker.

“We have been blessed by the writings of Alice, legitimized in the works of the Hobbit Jamie Goode, made real, like Pinocchio, by the Good Fairy Jeremy Parzen, and yet we remain. Our brothers and sisters who were taken from us during what is now referred to as The Wine Rapture most assuredly deserved their disappearances. I think every wine lover applauds their disappearance. But The Feiring Squad protests! We should have been taken too.”

Some desperate winemakers, who had disingenuously declared their wines natural, went into hiding, pretending that they had vanished during The Rapture. They anonymously posted on popular wine blogs, declaring themselves “vanished” in an attempt to drive the prices of their wines higher, and to save their manufactured reputations. But most finally had to emerge from hiding and admit that they hadn’t actually made Natural Wine in the first place. “I didn’t really manipulate my wine that much,” one said, as he was publicly humiliated and scorned, “I spent most of my time manipulating the press. I lied, I exaggerated, I hid a few facts, who did it hurt? If it weren’t for that fucking Rapture, I’d still be a hero to the shitheads who believe in Natural Wine.”

Husbands and wives left behind that fateful May Day in 2013 also formed an alliance, Spouses Overwhelmed Too, abbreviated SO2. SO2 members dressed exclusively in white and were invited to attend every serious winery’s blessing of the Harvest, where they spoke of their beloved taken by The Rapture, their beloved’s purity and devotion to wine, their lost partner’s belief that only Nature and God can make wine that is worth drinking and that a winemaker doesn’t need skill or discernment or a background in chemistry and viticulture to make wine, a winemaker just needs blind devotion to non-intervention and a really gullible mailing list. SO2 members were considered saints and clairvoyants, and wonderful paint ball targets.

The reward for those who had actually followed the rigorous standards of Natural Wine was being taken to Heaven by The Rapture. Those lucky few, one who had been having unnatural intercourse with a miniature sheep when he abruptly vanished, leaving ewe perplexed, and one who had been speaking at a winemaker dinner at a Vegan restaurant when he suddenly wasn’t there any more, his audience turning pale and gaseous (in other words, unchanged), among others, would forever be revered as Natural Winemakers. No scientific explanation was ever offered for their massive disappearance. None was needed. God had called them home to tend his Heavenly vineyards, to make wine only for Him. God knows it wouldn’t kill Him, anyway.

The Feiring Squad eventually disbanded, their pleas and excuses unheeded and disbelieved. Alice was left to write only obituaries, to beg to taste the last of the Natural Wines to have been auctioned off, to whither away into wine obscurity, alone with her inflatable Nicholas Joly doll, otherwise known as Nicholas Joly. SO2 became a mere footnote to The Rapture, their presence at an event a reminder of the basic dishonesty in the Natural Wine movement, their number so small compared to those who had lied and lied and yet whose spouses were never left behind.

Twenty years later it was back. Climate change was still on the world’s back burner, the one that burns petroleum. Many of the large mammals of the world had gone extinct, including most NFL players. The oceans were rising faster than the water in Marvin Shanken’s bathtub when he gets in. And Natural Wines, Real Wines, Authentic Wines returned.

But there was no Second Rapture. “Fuck ‘em,” God said, “if they’re that stupid.”


43 comments:

Andy Perdue said...

Preach, brother, preach!

Den Master said...

Amen!

gabriel jagle said...

Crap! I knew we shouldn't have used bentonite to heat stablize our wines. Now I'm stuck on this stupid planet

Marcia Macomber said...

Fab! Love the "Spouses Overwhelmed Too, abbreviated SO2" and the "leaving ewe perplexed"! Classic HoseMaster.

The Rapture is so fitting for the Naturals...

The Sommeliere said...

The thought of Alice and her inflatable Nicolas Joly doll makes me wanna hurl. It must be the orange wine coming back to haunt me...

Cris Whetstone said...

Finally some good news. It is too bad we were not given the chance to bury them naturally.


"SO2" = gold.

David Pierson said...

Ever see a Simpsons where Homer is sure he knows when the Rapture is coming?? It's a classic... I once interviewed Alan Richman and he said, "Vegans aren't human beings, they don't look like, dress like or eat like humans.. what was that show where they were looking for aliens? the X-flies.. yeah, that's it, if they were looking for aliens, all they had to do was go to a vegan restaurant..

David Rossi said...

Hosemaster your take on natural wine is completely off base.

I think the Feiring Squad didn't go far enough. Fermenting wine and bottling it is an abomination! Have decided to give the natural wine seeking community the real thing. We call it Natural Wine- The Experience!

For $1,000 per person you get to live in the vineyard at harvest time in a ditch that you dig out with your own hands. You get to eat off the land grabbing lizards and stray rabbits. Then as the grapes start to rot on the vine, or as we like to say "ferment as nature intended", guests lick the clusters to get the sweet taste of truly natural wine. Yes your tongue swells due to yellow jacket stings, but we call that inflammation terroir.

Discounts for groups of 12 or more. Operators are on standby to take your orders!

Tom said...

My Hero!

Bianca Miraglia said...

Plenty of "natural" wine "makers" are chemists and viticulturists. It will always be funny to me the strong defense of chemical additives. Real wine isn't a fad, and there is nothing wrong with consumers knowing what goes into the bottles they're consuming. For the first time in awhile, your intern sounds more intelligent than you do. Natural wine is just as corrupt as anything else, naturally, but transparency shouldn't be a category, it should be a given.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hi Gang,
Sorry, I've been out all day and had no chance to respond to comments. I was out looking for my sense of humor.

I picked up a wonderful novel by the great social satirist/novelist Tom Perrota, "The Leftovers." I stole his premise, though it isn't really his premise either. His novel answers the question, What would happen if the Rapture actually happened, only it wasn't exactly the Rapture the fundamentalist Christians believe in. It's a funny, interesting, insightful piece of social insight, and often laugh out loud funny.

It made me wonder what would happen if that same Rapture occurred in the wine business and all the so-called "natural" winemakers just vanished one day. After all, the Natural Wine movement has the air of the Born Again about it, the smugness of those who KNOW they are right. The result is this stupid piece.

Everything about the debate that surrounds natural wine is focused on feelings and passions and the age old battle of Good versus Evil, with just the right amount of science to make it look right. Readers, Tom and Bianca among them, seem to think I am against "natural" wines, but I'm not. I write satire. (Bianca, please, if you're going to insult me, borrow someone's wit.) And the "natural" wine movement, with its sanctimony and air of righteousness is easy pickin's. It's the low-hanging clusters.

"Natural" wine doesn't bother me. Intellectual dishonesty, pandering, arrogance, disingenuousness, humorlessness--those bother me. Yes, plenty of "natural" winemakers are chemists and viticulturists--doesn't make them honest about what is an imaginary category anyway. Since when is every wine that isn't defined by some self-appointed expert as "natural" some kind of ecological disaster? Or inferior. There are very, very few natural winemakers who won't occasionally use chemical additives when necessary, adjust acidity, maybe do some fining and filtering, add a little gum arabic, as blatantly horrible and heinous as that is. But it beats having undrinkable wine.

On an individual basis, we all judge wines. In groups, it's stupid. Natural wine or box wine or Loire wine or Zinfandel, making broad statements is intellectually insipid. Natural wine does not equal good, other wines do not equal evil. And when you market your wines as "natural," like it or not, you're busy implying that it's somehow superior. That's where the intellectual dishonesty lives. In the words. Not in the wines.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
I confess to struggling with these posts of yours. Not for the humor or writing as those are, as always, firing on all cylinders but...well some of my most beloved wines are either organic or biodynamic. Not the reason I love them but, well I can't be anti something that brings me so much fucking pleasure. Chidaine, Chandon de Briailles, Domaine de Montille, Comte Lafon, Clos Rougeard?! Can't hate anything those cats are doing and they are all biodynamic.

I know you write these posts using a voice but I have to sort of wonder where the posts are making fun of the vitriol and smug, "You're full of shit" that comes from the other side? I know you haven't picked sides per se but I'm just sayin' I haven't seen much mocking of the other camp, which in turn kind of looks like picking sides....and the reason I tend to zip it on these posts, no matter how hilarious. Oh and this one Love, made me snort I laughed so hard. So there you have it. Just didn't want you thinking I didn't appreciate your work here sweetheart, even though I disagree with The HoseMaster's stance on this one. I love you so!!

Fabio said...

Samantha, Well said! I second that motion! Where's the parody of the Language Mavens that would have us believe that adjectives in the English language (like 'natural') can have one and only one meaning?

O Hosemaster and friends, Actually I already wrote a parody myself, here: http://vinosambiz.blogspot.com.es/2013/02/fraud-and-lies-continue-in-anti-natural.html
tho I'm still working on my Humor 101, so don't expect to snort and spray your screen with coffee as you read it :)

Thomas said...

I'm out of retirement for a minute:

There's no mystery why the Hose goes after the most obvious choices.

I don't think either Sam or Fabio understand what the Hose explained in his next-to-last paragraph above. In Fabio's case, I expect that glossing over--but Sam, say it isn't so...

I am going back into retirement. This is great. I can retire or join in at will, and I don't have to explain myself to anyone. What a joy!

gabriel jagle said...

love the satire, but i disagree with your assertion that people who are trying to make natural wines are implying that their wines are superior. a lot of people just make natural or organic or even biodynamic wines because they want to, and for no other reason. saying they are doing it because they think they are superior is like saying that, by satirizing the wine industry, you are implying that you are superior

Thomas said...

Oh my, I can't help it.

Gabe: Ron is lampooning the primary vocal proponents (who often are not even in the wine business). The people you mention, like you, aren't the vocal ones, just the passionate ones that actually do the work. The loud mouths give guys like you a bad name...I mean the ones who spend an afternoon working in a vineyard and then profess to "know" what it's like to work a vineyard, and so on.

Now, I really must get back to retirement. Really. No kidding. Anyway, I've got to go brush-hog 7 acres.

Fabio said...

Thomas,
Sure I understand that next-to-last paragraph. And the last one too, about the 'intellectual dishonesty', which i address in the link I gave. But the main thing for me here is to enjoy the humour and if possible to snort coffee over my keyboard! Please dont think that I want to start a boring anal discussion about natural wines here!!! - there are plenty of blogs out there already for that :)
It's just when then the parody affects me directly, my natural reaction (ha ha) is to respond to it. For example, I've probably personally met about 100+ natural winemakers/trade/retail people, yet not a single one corresponds to the stereotypes that are parodied. Even tho there is loads of scope for humour and parody there, it just doesnt correspond to the reality on the ground. But I'm not complaining :) The more humour and irreverence and surrealist fantasy, the better! There's far too much uptightness and posturing and pretense in the wine world already, as far as I'm concerned!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Gang,
Satire, as I see it, has two main goals--to make you laugh, and to make you think. In that order.

Almost everyone here is old enough to remember a time when great wines were great wines. The wines spoke for themselves. All of those you mention, My Gorgeous Samantha, and many others. I don't recall anyone ever selling me Domaine de Montille as "natural" wine. It was Burgundy from a small domaine that carefully and organically tended its vineyards. Now it's not only Burgundy, it's Natural Wine, Authentic Wine, Real Wine, Certified Sensitive Wine. The domaine hasn't changed the way it makes wines, the folks who are selling it and writing about it and who use those words have changed. It's slick, and it's marketing, and I find it funny.

I don't have an agenda. I've spent as much time berating Huckleberry Jackson as I have Alice and her Feiring Squad. I get an idea, some kind of bizarre inspiration, and I run with it, hoping to be amusing and to actually have a point, unlike so many vapid wine blogs out there. When this idea occurred to me, I also kicked around the idea of all the wine critics vanishing one Rapturous day. But that's not funny because the Rapture is about blind belief, and Faith, and knowing you're right. The only idea that worked satirically was the Natural Wine cult of Alice Feiring, and others, that we waste so much time talking and writing about.

Gabe, as Thomas points out, I am making fun here of those who sell, promote, and write about Natural Wine, not those who work hard to make the best, most interesting wine they can from beautifully farmed vineyards. I bust Parker's balls and everybody applauds--when it's closer to home, well, suddenly I'm misguided... So it goes with satire.

Finally, BRAVO! Fabio. Your post is terrific and right on the nose, as is your last comment. Now I have to go out and try your Natural Wines. I love Natural Wines.

Rogue Wino said...

I love natural wines, but I also love taking the piss out of misguided elitists, which is clearly what you are doing here. I like your last point about why posts like these get everyone riled: it's closer to home. It's a true test of whether people are taking themselves a little too seriously or not.
There, I commented. Now back to work!

Samantha Dugan said...

Thomas,
Oh please, you think I don't get Ron? Come on now, I would bet money that I understand him better than just about anyone, here at least. All I was pointing out was that I've seen plenty of pieces mocking one side and barely any, at least in some time, pointing the other way. I get that the loud mouths that rant about "All natural" are annoying as fuck and easy to make fun of, hell they get under my skin as well, just pointing out why there may be some perceived notion that Ron, or The HoseMaster I should say, is anti natural wines. That was the point I was trying to make silly head.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Rogue Baby,
Lovely to see you here again.

Oh, I get all kinds of crap all over the place for what I write. And there are also times when I cringe at some of the people who like what I do. So it goes. I'm never trying to do anything but make folks laugh at themselves and this relatively meaningless business we're in. Well, that, and exorcize my comedy demons.

I just saw the title of Jamie Goode's latest post (I haven't read it, and probably won't), "Three Amazing Natural Wines from Mas Coutelou." Which word doesn't belong in that title? Which word is clearly unnecessary? Which word does Goode use that Mas Coutelou probably doesn't? Sigh.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Almost everything else I write that isn't about natural wines mocks the other side, the wine Establishment, in some fashion. Is that what you mean? It's all how you read satire, and what you bring to it. The Natural Wine zealots, NOT the natural wine makers, are the Amish people of wine, they're the vegans of wine, they're the Fundamentalists of wine. And like all of those folks, at some basic level their fervor robs life, and wine, of its most important ingredient, fun. Because, God knows, if a great wine isn't "natural," well, it's not actually great now, is it?

Thomas said...

I'm naturally pre-disposed to argue with people. I'm also naturally on hiatus, so why am I responding again? Because, like the blowhards of the universe, I'm naturally full of shit--natural shit, of course.

Fabio, Fabio: again, Ron is not knocking those who work hard in the industry. He lampoons those who make a joke out of your hard work. They make a joke of it by reducing it to an ideology. Now, if you are into ideology, then forget what I said and just assume that I'm full of shit, which I may be, but I hate ideology in any form. It's as bad as nationalism.

Sam: the Hosemaster incriminates, but he does not discriminate (although I did hear a rumor that he thinks that all Italian-Americans are Mafiosi, so don't mess with me).

Cris Whetstone said...

Samantha,

I'm just not sure what other side there is to mock. The whole RMP/Jay Miller/Laube crowd has been beaten down for years. Hell, ridiculing and exposing those clowns was the primary reason we even started WineBerserkers. Propping up wines with 500% new oak, picked at 55 brix and run through the concentrator 3 times is done. The people who chafe against natural wines never supported those monstrosities anyways. It's a straw man to suggest that if you are against the natural win dogma that you somehow want wines that are chemical concoction manipulated beyond recognition.


The proponents of so called natural wines have the megaphone these days. We have been treated to their ideology now for a at least a couple years and it is beyond tiresome for those of us merely in search of good wines to drink. Its the same reason I reject religion. I might agree with a very religious person on very many things but I reject the notion that I have to sign up for their ideology. I would agree with the natural wine crowd on 95% of the wines we tasted blind together but I really don't want to dogma and judgement that comes along with it.

Samantha Dugan said...

Goddamn it, gonna get myself branded as a natural wine defender! Not the case and I think I agree more with Ron and Cris than Alice and the like when it comes to the chatter and natural wine bullshit, I was simply wondering where the posts are that make fun of Tom & Charlie and their "This is hooey and get off my lawn" rants that they tend to go on is all.

gabriel jagle said...

Samantha, for what it's worth, I'm with you.

gabriel jagle said...

As for everyone else: I did make that wonderfully self-deprecating joke about bentonite fining. So I'm getting better.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Cris,
Well said.

I had a sinking feeling when I published this piece that it would set off this kind of debate. I just thought it was a funny, and appropriate, premise.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
If you want those sorts of posts, write them. You rant as well as anyone, let Tom and Charlie have it. I write what I want to write. The Natural Wine folks get more crap tossed at them because, aside from Fabio, they seem to be pretty humorless and dead set on educating the rest of us about what "real" wine should taste like. That invites scorn.

By the way, it's unlikely many of them read my foolishness, just as I avoid their dissembling and dreadfully boring posts. They're too busy authenticating wines.

Gabe,
You're learning, kid, you're learning. Not self-deprecation, but always agreeing with Samantha. Smart boy!

Charlie Olken said...

Samantha, my dear friend--

If you are going to remain my dear friend, you are going to have to stop misquoting me.

I dont give a rusty rat's ass one way or the other about natural wine, authentic wine, organic wine, biodynamic wine.

I taste WINE for a living and I taste it all blind. I am completely agnostic about the subject or subjects. But I absolutely reject the "mine is better" attitude that some people wear as some kind of badge of honor.

They are pompous twits who cannot judge wine for what it is but for how it is made. So, when they get pissed off that Ron or I or anyone else is making fun of them and their pomposity, I have one thing to say to them.

Shut the fuck up and make wine. Full stop.

Samantha Dugan said...

Mother f'er! just wrote a long ass response and had it eaten by a hiccup in the internet.

Gabe,
Thanks kid, I knew I liked you.

Ron,
Didn't say I wanted any kind of post. You write what you love to write Baby, I am all in as you know. I shan't be ranting on the subject as I've grown beyond bored with arguing over something that no one can define, with people who are smug as fuck, on both sides, and will never see eye to eye. Stopped reading nearly all blogs because of that actually. I love you and your posts precisely because you point out the assholes, was merely mentioning that there are assholes on both sides.

Charlie,
I often lump the natural wine bullshit in with the whole alcohol "debate" and it was about the latter that I think you have been pretty vocal about, you and Stephen actually. Sorry if you felt I misquoted you love and I hope our friendship is strong enough to endure a little ribbing, especially here and with you knowing how much I love you.

I'm feeling like Thomas now, cannot believe I let myself get pulled back in! I love you all and my wish for us all is that we shut the fuck up and drink what we like! Happy weekend all.

Thomas said...

Ron:

You bring out the best in your readers.

Over and out.

gabriel jagle said...

I'm sure I'm gonna catch hell for this, but fuck it. I don't taste wine blind. I don't think that judging the quality of one random glass is the thing. I know the people who make my wine. I've been to their house, their cellar. I've met their kids, and their kids have played with my dog. And you know what, that stuff matters to me. If their wine has a little VA, i don't mind, because I know that they don't spray their barrels with sulfur because their kids play in the cellar. That shit matters. And if you write about wine for a living, but don't care about how wine is made...well, that just seems odd to me.

David Rossi said...

Wow! I guess you can make fun of religion, race, cancer and death, but not the puffery around natural wine marketing. Who knew?

Shutup Andmakewine said...

Jeez, I ignore him for a year and Chaz finally figures out the point of my blog name (but does he know he did?.....) I guess I'll have to start writing again...

Charlie Olken said...

Gabriel--

You may not mind a little VA in your wine, but why should the rest of us accept it just because your winemaker friends allow it?

Don't clean your barrels because the kids play in the cellar? Is that why natural wine exists? Who knew?

Besides, why does natural wine have to have VA or Brett or anything else uncalled for?

As I said so eloquently above, I dont care how anyone makes their wines. I care how those wines taste. Since when has taste been supplanted as the arbiter of wine desirability?

Arthur--

In your case, maybe you should just stick to quiet. The world does not need another blog that no one reads. We already have a thousand of those.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

David,
Oh, I knew.

I lampoon the marketing of Natural Wine, and everyone reads that I'm insulting Natural Wine itself. If I insulted the Pope, I'd hear from Catholics saying I was attacking their religion. That's why the Rapture, as a metaphor, works, I think, in this comic context.

And then it devolves into oneupsmanship, and oneupswomanship, and, well, the fun never stops here at HoseMaster.

Sadly, I think, the word "natural" has become yet another wine word without meaning, joining the likes of "reserve" and "old vines" and "Gold Medal Winner." There will always be people who assign it meaning, who put their hard earned dollars into a wine declared "natural," though it's not necessarily delicious (and it's not necessarily not delicious either, it's just wine), because they believe it is healthier, or better, or cooler. They won't give a simple thought that it might just be marketing. Many times, it is not marketing. But the more the movement becomes appealing, the more it will be used for sales and marketing, and without the least bit of shame that it might be dishonest. I'm OK with that. I'm reminded of folks who want to eat food that is humanely slaughtered, as though humanely is the key word in that phrase.

They are all only words, but words have power, and the people who use those words, and use them to promote their own agenda, simply desire that power. Give it to them if you like. Just be a little bit aware.

Shutup Andmakewine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gabriel jagle said...

kids playing in the cellar? Lol. No, that doesn't happen. Honestly, I think I was drunk on dolcetto when i wrote that. But I would rather drink a friends wine that has VA than some overpriced, fined & filtered, polished up wine from a California mega-winery. Kind of the same way I would rather eat my mom's home cooking than go to Spago. So when you say "shut the fuck up and make wine", you probably think you sound edgy and educated. But I just envision some food critic coming into my house and telling my mom to "shut the fuck and make dinner", so I just think it makes you sound like a pompous jerk. I'll look forward to your next article about a "certain winemaker" who thinks everyone should love VA

Martin said...

OMG Ron, love your blog and the comments and the really funny thing is that as brilliant as your satire is, you're even bette when you're serious and having to explain your satire in the comments. As you say the point of satire is to make you think. Those self righteous folk who would hector us need their pomposity pricked whether they be 'natural wine' promoters, vegans, born again Christians, politicians,actors or Bono and you do a terrific job onhere of an area - wie - that I know and care about.

Funnily enough I'm coming to this thread late as I've spent two days at the RAW natural wine fair in London and then drinking beer and cider (which tasted just like some of the €40 bottles of no SO2 wines I'd tasted).

It must be said there was an an air of delusional cult mentality about the place along with a lot of dodgy facial hair and dreadlocks. After day one I where I'd made a point of trying as many as no SO2 wines as possible I checked twitter and it was full gushing comments about how wonderful all the wines and people were. My metaphor wouldn't have been 'rapture' but emperor's new clothes'. Wonderful wines? What about all the rubbish cider like wines? So I tweeted (@winerepublic if you're interestd)'finally found a range of no SO2 wines worth drinking, (Yann Durieux Burgundy) but 80+% of the wines here are crap.

In my attempts to mimic Alder and taste hundreds of wines a day I was forced to develop shorthand and invented ADH, not a childhood nervous order but short for AlDehyDe. Notes for each wine then became simply ADH or Very ADH and now and again OMG no ADH. Also my most used comment or thought when chatting to producers was 'and you like the wine like this?!'

Was at the natural fair in London a couple of years ago and found myself tasting next to Alice and caught the end of her seminar where she explained that there not being any actual rules or certification for the term 'natural' was a good thing. I recall thinking 'so it's snake oil' it can be anything you want it to be. And as you point out it implies everyone else is unnatural and inferior.

In case you're wondering I think organic and biodynamic are great - who want the earth polluted, but I like to drink good wine that doesn't taste of cooed apples, brett or vinegar and I don't like self righteous.

Sorry. I'll get off my soap box now.
Martin Moran MW

Martin said...

Damn, sorry about the typos. cooed apples is cooked apples and wie is wine, but you knew that I gusess
MM

Fabio said...

Hi Thomas,
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I've been scraping and painting a new bodega that I'll be moving into this summer, so I cant log on as much as I'd like. Yes, I totally understand Ron's jokes, anaolgies and humour, as I recently passed my Humor #101 class! I especially liked the 'Feiring Squad' tho no-one esle has mentioned it. I think mayby I could use that :)
Just to say that (if it were not already evident) that the only ideology I abide by is to have no ideologies or dogmas!!! I try to make lovely drinkable terroir-expressing wines, and all the rest is words, words, words, natural schnatural, bla bla bla! The proof is in the bottle, and no excuses.

Ron,
You can find my wines in LA but please be careful and try not to frown at them too much - you know how delicate natural wines are! :) Apart from not travelling well, and not aging well (max 10 days), and the cloudiness, and the Brett, and the cider, and the funkiness, and the VA, and the oxidization, and the swamp gas, etc, the frown of a sommelier, even a retired one, would just shatter it completely :)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Martin,
Thanks, I use the comments section, now and then, to discuss the inspirations for my pieces, and also the nature of The Fool, and satire, and the other stuff that rattles around my skull. I don't think anyone else finds it that interesting, but bouncing that stuff off people as smart as the people who hang around here is good for me.

Interesting, if unsurprising, report on the RAW wine tasting. Though how you could sniff that many weird wines in a day and not suffer nasal damage is amazing.

Fabio,
Sounds like your wines are Certified Sensitive!

Charlie Olken said...

Gabe, sorry I missed your latest comments.

The whole point of shut up and make wine (a phrase that Arthur has invented and I borrowed because it make such good sense) is that----

THE WINES SPEAK, not the jargon.

I don't really care what you or anyone else drinks. That is your business. But, you really ought not suggest that the only alternatives are your friends wine with VA or overpolished wines from manufactories.

As for your mother, I am sure that she makes wonderful food. But if the only way she can present that food to the world is to talk about process rather than taste, then I think she misses the mark.

Wine is about taste. And winemakers should, in my humble opinion, not try to convince folks to buy their wines based on anything but taste.

Beau said...

After reading through the entire comment list, I scroll to the top and see Andy Perdue's simple, yet perfectly phrased comment. I agree with him.