Monday, May 11, 2015
The Latest in Wine Drugs
I know I’m getting old because every show I watch on television is sponsored by drug companies. Actually, I’m old because I watch television to begin with. Everyone else is streaming their entertainment. I’m old, I’m lucky if I get any stream at all. I mostly dribble. I am bombarded by ads for drugs with weird, meant to be catchy names—Cialis and Viagra and Levitra and the like. Lots of boner pills for men. Followed by ads for drugs that help restore tears, all aimed at women. Coincidence? I don’t think so. (Have you noticed how many boner pill ads air during golf tournaments? I guess they know their audience. Different strokes, and all that…)
What’s all this got to do with wine, HoseMaster?, you might ask. Relax. Take a chill pill. Pop some Xanax. Grab a Valium enema and give your sphincter a vacation. I’m getting there. As it turns out, there are some interesting new drugs aimed at sophisticated wine drinkers. Warning: Do not take any of these drugs without your doctor’s, or your sommelier’s, supervision.
We understand. Wine can be depressing. So many experts, pundits, critics and pontificators. Scores and medals and varieties. You just want to get drunk. But do you get drunk on 86 points, or drunk on 98 points? It matters. Like it matters who you sleep with. In the dark, it’s fine to get drunk on 86 points, like it’s OK to do the local crossing guard. With the lights on, you need at least 94. Wine is devastating to your self-esteem. You feel worthless drinking that 84 point Merlot. But there’s nothing you can do. Until now. Now Dureza® way!
Just one Dureza® a day and all those 86’s turn into 100’s! You’ll feel good about getting drunk again, no matter how lousy or unpopular your wine choice. Throw away those Tim Fish oil suppositories! You won’t need that Laube lube any more. Who needs greased palms? Now you have Dureza®! And just like that, wine is all about the drunk again.
Disclaimer: Tell your doctor if you begin a subscription to Wine Spectator as that could be a symptom of a brain disorder. Do not use Dureza® if you are pregnant, or anywhere near a pregnant woman or a dwarf. Use only as directed, and not as a date rape drug like everyone else. Do not operate heavy machinery or elevators when using Dureza®. In rare cases, Dureza® can cause unexpected erections in women, and we mean unexpected. If your nose begins to play the theme from “Rocky,” seek immediate assistance. When taken responsibly, or upside down with a tequila chaser, Dureza® is safe for most wine lovers.
Hello, boys. I’m a failed actress reading lines, but I’m draped across this bed in silk lingerie because I’m ready for a Master Sommelier candidate to take me. Taste me blind and tell me where I’m from. Pair me with his favorite meat. Don’t disappoint me. All you need to do is take one Bonarda® a day, and you’re always ready to open me up and severely overcharge. Why wait when I’m ready now? With Bonarda®, you won’t have to wait. And you’re a sommelier, I know how you hate waiters.
Bonarda® is the drug for Master Sommeliers with E.D., in other words, Master Sommeliers. Some people think impotence comes with the MS, like the sense of entitlement and the ability to think you’re intelligent when drunk, but it doesn’t have to. Not any more. Now there’s Bonarda®, available by prescription only, unless you have the Internet or a doctor buddy who has the crapload of samples we passed out. Remember: Bonarda®—And you thought just the MS exam was hard!
Disclaimer: People who have only passed the CSW exam should not take Bonarda®, and, in fact, shouldn’t actually tell anyone they passed the CSW exam. In certain cases, Bonarda® can cause an MS to misidentify Pinot Gris as wine. If you notice giant red veins on your penis when taking Bonarda®, don’t brag, though a high-five is acceptable. Do not use your penis as a sundial. Bonarda® is not recommended for daily use if you drink orange wine, Ribolla Gialla or Alice Feiring’s urine, even if that is on the MS exam. Do not take Bonarda® if you are prone to sanctimony.
Millions of people suffer from Wine List Anxiety. Are you one of them? Does an approaching sommelier make you scream in terror? And it’s not even Bobby Stuckey? I mean, he scares the shit out of everybody. When your restaurant party tries to hand you the wine list at dinner, do you uncontrollably fart the Canadian National Anthem? Does the thought of wine list prices make you break out into a cold duck? You’re not alone. And now you have Xarello®.
Xarello® suppresses the urge to weep when you open a wine list, and it does it naturally, and with few side effects. Now when you open that wine list filled with unfamiliar wines and ridiculous prices, you won’t have a care in the world. You’ll have the confidence to call the sommelier over to your table and say what you’ve always wanted to say, “I asked for the wine list, not your tribute to you. Are you running a wine cellar or a carnival sideshow? You must be the barker because your list is nothing but dogs. If I want to pay three ridiculous figures, I’ll rent the Kardashians.” Xarello®—We’re Madeira as Hell, and we’re not going Touriga any more.
Disclaimer: Do not take Xarello® if you’re milking a goat. Do not take Xarello® if the goat is milking you. Xarello® is not recommended for teenagers as it can occasionally lead to thoughts of suicide or starting a blog. Side effects can include singing show tunes and Tourette’s Syndrome. At the first sign of singing, “I’m Just a Fucking Girl Who Can’t Say No, Asshole,” contact your doctor, and your agent, or, hell, just break a leg, Girl! Don’t take Xarello® if you’re allergic to fingerling potatoes. Don’t fingerling potatoes unless you intend to wash your hands afterward, Scumbag. Don’t come near me with those goat-milking, fingerling potatoes hands, I’m not scared of you, I’m on Xarello®!
Last weekend I attended the Amador Four Fires wine event (more on that later). One of the selling points, in the promoters’ minds, was that the wines served at the event had been “curated” by a tasting panel made up of wine writers, sommeliers, wine retailers and other assorted mentally ill people. I also read that the recent Sonoma County Barrel Auction participants had their entries, contributed for charity by the way, “curated” by a team of sommeliers led by Evan Goldstein MS. I hope this doesn’t become a trend. It’s insulting and annoying. Who screens the clowns screening the wine? Oh, I’m sorry, the clowns “curating” the wine. I guess it implies some sort of guarantee of quality, though it also implies I’m too stupid to decide for myself what wines I like, or know what Russian River Pinot Noir tastes like. No, I need eight or nine jackasses to narrow it down for me.
I ran into a couple of the “curators” at the Amador Four Fires event, and I asked them how a few of the wines I’d tasted had passed their expert palates. I had a couple of Barberas that would have been really nice accelerants. I suggested, as part of the entertainment, that the event set up a dunk tank for the “curators.” Disgruntled attendees could fork over a few bucks to have the chance to hurl a baseball at a target that would drop one of the “curators” into a giant vat of Skinnygirl Chardonnay (because nothing celebrates anorexia like unoaked Chardonnay). Weirdly, I think they liked the idea.
The bidders at the Sonoma County Barrel Auction were people in the trade, mostly very successful retailers. The winemakers whose wines were represented are many of the best winemakers California has to offer. So they need Evan Goldstein MS and his merry band of nitwits’ stamp of approval on the barrel samples? Do you know any winemakers personally? Ask them what they think about the judgments of Master Sommeliers. It sounds a lot like Tommy Lasorda talking about Dave Kingman (Google it, non-baseball fans).
There’s a sad trend lately to glorify sommeliers and people with initials after their names. Stop. It just feeds their already grossly distended egos. Many of them are fine people, and very knowledgeable and charming. OK, a few of them. But they shouldn’t be sitting in judgment, “wisely” filtering wines so that the rest of us don’t suffer, and so we benefit from their boundless wine wisdom. It’s enough we have to suffer their presence on the planet, their self-proclaimed, self-certified expertise. We don’t need them “curating” wine for us.
And when you do clean everything up, eliminate the faulty wines and the nonrepresentative wines, you also eliminate how people learn about wine, and about their own wine preferences. On an important level, that’s what a Four Fires event is about. There’s an annoying edge to these curations of wine “experts” trying to protect consumers that implies we’re all naive and ignorant children, and they’re omnipotent parents. Stop that! It’s condescending and patronizing, and it needs to stop. Wine lovers need to learn to understand bad wine, atypical wine, and weird wine, too—it’s part of the fun. It’s like dating. In retrospect, I’m grateful for all the bad, atypical and weird women I dated. I’m glad my mother didn’t “curate” my sex life. Just writing that creeped me out.
I truly believe that you learn as much about wine from lousy wine as you do from great wine—it’s the boring wines that are worthless. A lot of boring wine passes an MS’s sniff test. I think I’m going to pass on “curated” events from now on. One MS in a room is a lecture, two or more in a room is Hell. I already live in a Hell of my own making, I don’t need Evan Goldstein’s help. I wonder if his mother…never mind.