Monday, January 25, 2016
Puckette's Charge: Wine Folly
Are you new to wine? Do you want to learn about wine from someone who knows only the teeniest bit more than you? Isn’t that the way you prefer to learn, from someone just a little bit smarter than you? What if you wanted to become a surgeon? Medical school is so expensive, and the teachers there talk way over your head! Surgery doesn’t have to be just for brainiacs! Why not just learn from the local butcher? Surgery is just knives and meat. Start there. But you don’t want to be a surgeon, you want to learn about wine. That’s why Wine Folly is here! No brainiacs allowed! We’re Wine Folly. We’re the knives, and you’re the meat! Let’s get started.
I’m Madeline Puckette, and I’m just like you. I like to get drunk and make videos! And I figured out how to create a wine empire for people just like us, people who want our wine knowledge to be shallow, but good enough to make our craft beer drinking friends think we’re cool. I make wine simple because I know you’re simple. I even use a really large typeface for Wine Folly so that it’s easier to use your fingers to read it. I never take the intelligence of my fans for granted. I just assume you’re reading Wine Folly because you don’t have much. And, dammit, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying and understanding wine! Other wine websites use all these big words that are confusing. Not here. I make wine simple. And I never forget that my fans are like privileged white kids with powerful attorneys—I always give you really short sentences.
You’ll find lots of neat graphics on Wine Folly, too! At first, they might not make sense. But stay with it, maybe read along with a friend who has a high school diploma. The graphics are a way to make wine easier to understand. For example, you might read in one of those hard wine books with hardly any pictures that wine is about 85% water, 14% alcohol, and 1% minerals and acids and stuff like that. I know, that’s not easy to understand for me either. What exactly does that mean, 85% and 14% and all that? So I made a pie chart! Don’t you love pie charts? I like them almost as much as I like real pie (oh, yes, I forgot to mention that I’m really funny, too). If you don’t know what a pie chart is, you will! I’m all about pie charts. A pie chart is a chart in the shape of a pie. We call it “round.” A wine can be “round,” too, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! That’s advanced wine talk. On my “round” pie chart I divide the circle into three parts. The biggest part is the 85% part, and it’s labeled “water.” This would be the part of the pie Robert Parker eats! Another part, a lot smaller, says “alcohol.” This is the little part of the pie that I might eat, and maybe throw it up later when no one’s looking. Finally, a little sliver is the “minerals, acids and other junk” part. Give that little piece to the wino downtown. See! That’s so much easier to understand. Simple, right? Wine is mostly water like Wine Folly is mostly empty space.
Now hop on over to Amazon and buy my new book, “Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine.” Don’t be scared that it’s 240 pages! You can read the whole book in about 20 minutes. Well, maybe not you. It’s jampacked with pie charts, and graphs, and the sorts of illustrations you find on absolutely the finest cocktail napkins! Many of them took several minutes on the internet to research. Look, you can buy 50 different beginner wine books on Amazon, and they all say the same things. There’s absolutely nothing new here. Not in those books, and sure as hell not in mine. But “Wine Folly” has all my pie charts and graphs! They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Oh, don’t let that intimidate you. My pictures are only worth five or six!
You’re going to learn so much about wine from my books and videos! For example, I help you understand how to taste a wine. First, you need to smell it. This is from my book:
“Hold your glass just under your nose and sniff once to ‘prime’ your nose. Then swirl your wine once and smell again. This time, smell the wine longer and slower but just as delicately. Switch between sniffing and thinking.”
This is how even MWs and MSs smell wine. You can’t be expected to sniff and think at the same time! No one can do that. It’s why we hold our breath when we’re trying to figure out the crossword puzzles in “Highlights for Children.” And it’s important you just swirl the wine once. Wine can get dizzy, and then it gets all confused. Hey, you haven’t even bought my book yet and already you’re a lot smarter about wine!
I don’t like to brag, but what sets me apart from the other people writing about wine is that I don’t feel the need to be right all the time. Wine isn’t about facts. You get that. The whole reason to have a wine blog and to write a wine book is to show people that none of that stuff really matters. Facts, in fact (oh, I can’t help it, I’m just pixieish and funny), are just like wine. Pick the ones you like and just ignore the other ones. I try to make it into a game. See if you can figure out what facts are actually facts, and which ones I’m ignoring. Smart people get bogged down in details, which is just so stupid. But when you read Wine Folly, don’t worry, there’s no smart people here!
I think close enough is good enough. Like I’m close enough to a wine expert that you should buy my book. Like in one of my informative videos I compare an Oregon Pinot Noir to a California Pinot Noir. Which was fun because I had no idea what I was talking about. So the California Pinot Noir was a William Hill Pinot Noir from the Central Coast. I don’t know what that means. Central Coast? That’s vague. A Coast is really long, and a Central is really small. WTF? So I mentioned that when a wine label says Central Coast the grapes could come from anywhere from all the way up in Mendocino to all the way down to Santa Barbara. See there! Close enough! If you don’t know that’s way off, then your stupid Millennial friends won’t know either. And, come on, Mendocino is only a few hundred miles off! And it’s not like I didn’t know Oregon was near Canada somewhere.
My book is the top-selling wine book on Amazon! Suck it Jancis and Karen! You spend years and years writing your books and I write mine over the weekend. I guess we know who the best wine writer in the world is now. Ask Geoff Kruth MS, or“The Washington Post,” or all the other really smart people who put my book in their Best Wine Books of the Year lists. Those hypocrites. They know. Facts just don’t really matter.