Monday, June 29, 2015
Excerpts from Parker's "The Emperor's Diaries"
Editor’s Note: The Emperor’s Diaries were only recently discovered in the shopping cart of a homeless natural wine salesman living on the outskirts of Monkton, Maryland. After a painstaking translation from the Emperor’s native tongue, Hyperbole, a few excerpts from The Emperor’s Diaries were made available for publication prior to the diaries’ holiday release. The excerpts only hint at the importance of the document to the history of wine. We are honored to be the first to publish them.
I think I’m going to start a brilliant wine publication, with hints of brimstone and new-mown hubris. I’m sick of being an attorney. No one likes attorneys. I want to be liked. I’m sure that if I become a successful wine writer, everyone will like me. Wine writers are far more popular than lawyers, even though both occupations are based on empty rhetoric. I would be able to travel the world and taste the greatest wines with the greatest winemakers, show them what they’re doing wrong. Wine needs a writer like that, with impeccable balance, and subtle notes of ultimate authority and papal infallibility, a critic whose palms aren’t quite as unctuous as our current wine writers’. I’m the guy.
Now I just need to think of a name and a gimmick.
I’ve been wrestling with what to name my new wine publication tour-de-force. I have so many ideas, but none seems to stick. “The Wine Tour-de-Force” sounds pretty good. I might go with that! Imagine seeing my wine reviews published everywhere—in winery newsletters, on wine shop shelves, on the damned wine labels themselves—followed by the initials “WTF!” I predict this is exactly what will happen. And everyone will know what “WTF” stands for—it will be suffixed to my name for decades. But Wine Tour-de-Force just doesn’t sound right.
My wine publication will have a sole purpose. Not sure what that will be, but I’m dedicated to it. If it were up to me, the sole purpose would be to make me rich and famous. But that won’t work. Wine critics don’t get rich and famous. They get drunk and gout. Maybe the sole purpose should be integrity, to bring truth and independence to wine reviewing! Nah, that’s just crazy talk.
I’m still stuck on a name though. Right now I’m a lawyer, so maybe “The Wine Lawyer.” That could work. Or maybe “The Wine Public Defender!” Sticking up for your wine rights at no charge! Oh. That’s not quite right, either, but I think I’m getting warm. I’ll think about it. Meanwhile, I have to go and read the interview with Robert Lawrence Balzer in the new issue of “The Advocate.” Can’t wait.
For practice, I’ve already started writing wine reviews. They’re dazzling, with lingering notes of thesaurus and echolalia. But I think I need some kind of ranking system so that my readers will know which wines I prefer. Writing reviews is easy for me, I have the nose of cadaver dog and and the vocabulary of William F. Buckley, Jr. getting a blowjob from Farrah Fawcett, but the wine descriptions will be the least important part of my new wine publication, “The Wine Closet.” (Not yet sure of that title, but the Balzer piece inspired me.) What will be important is the ranking system I employ. The ones out there right now don’t appeal to me. The 20-Point Scale is for academics. Everyone hates academics, even more than they hate lawyers. And, besides you have to spend all this time assigning numbers to crap that doesn’t matter, like aroma and clarity. Hell, I go to the john for aroma and clarity. Besides, I want to review hundreds and hundreds of wines in every issue of “The Wine Dandy.” (Getting closer…) Having to pay close attention, and then doing a bunch of addition, just won’t cut it.
And then there’s those guys out in California who rate wines with “stars,” though they look more like pasties for hot, busty Smurfs, or those rubber thingies you put in your bathtub so you don’t slip. Doesn’t matter, but that’s a damned stupid rating system. Wines have to go up higher than three. Three’s not a number that catches your attention. “Why, this fantastic wine is a 3!” That doesn’t make anyone want to buy it. Those guys are stupid. Maybe 100 would get your attention, but not 3. I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it some more.
I didn’t know it would be so hard to start a new wine publication.
The 100-Point Scale! It was there all along! I can be so stupid sometimes, like when I bought all those ’72 Bordeaux futures. I’ll rank my wines using a 100-Point Scale. It’s genius. Everybody who went to public school knows that 100 points is a perfect score. Oh, I won’t give out 100 point scores very often. That would cheapen them. When you only have three crummy stars to award, well, you have to give three stars a lot. There just aren’t that damned many scores. There are only THREE! Duh. I’ll have 100 points. I’ll award 100 points maybe a couple of times a year. Any more than that and, well, I’d look like a profligate jackass. Oh, this is really gonna work great.
So now I just have to make up an explanation of how I arrive at my numbers for wines. No problem, I have a law degree, making up specious explanations comes under, “Previous Job Experience.” Now I’m just free-ballin’ it here, but let’s just say I start at 50. A wine gets 50 points to start with, kind of like how you get $200 when you start playing Monopoly for no apparent reason. Yup, 50 points, and then I start rolling the dice. Just off the top of my head, let’s say I give up to 10 points for color. Color doesn’t mean shit in wine, but I need to jack up the points, so let’s say 10. What the hell would a wine look like that got a 3 for color? Who knows? Who cares? It would have to be orange. Yeah, like orange wines make any sense.
Of course, for aroma a wine can get up to 20 points. It doesn’t really matter. I’m not ever going to actually assign numbers for color, or aroma, or intensity, or finish, or anything else individually. I have a life, for Christ’s sake. It’s only wine. But the 100-Point Scale needs to have the appearance of objectivity. Otherwise, people will think I’m just making the numbers up. Which I am, but I don’t want them to think that. It won’t take long, and I’ll know exactly what “87” smells and tastes like. Scoring for color and aroma and texture and balance and length? You can’t give numbers to those things. That’s crazy. I’ll just give a number to the wine.
Oh, I’m getting a good feeling about this. If I work hard enough, everyone will rely on my new wine publication. Everyone will want a subscription to “The Wine Probe.”