Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wine Is Just So Depressing

It’s just so hard to learn about wine. I try and I try, but, frankly, it’s depressing. Really depressing. I guess that’s just the way of the world right now. Everything makes me anxious and hopeless—even wine. There are countless books about wine, and they’re all so damned perky. All of them talk about wine as though it’s a gift from God, a vinous miracle, an expression of how the Universe loves us. I hate that sort of emptyheaded crap. The more I think about wine, the more depressed I get.

So many people I know are distraught about the state of the world. It's hard not to be when we are bombarded by bad news, fake news, and, worst of all, the truth. Wine is a respite from all that for most wine lovers, but maybe it isn't really. That's what sparked this post, a Depressed Person's Guide to Wine of sorts. I hope it makes you both want to drink wine, and not drink wine, simultaneously. 

To read the rest, you'll have to make the leap over to Tim Atkin's wonderful site. Please leave your thoughtful and despairing comments there. Thanks for reading.



Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,

Cannot tell you how much it lifted my heart to see a post from you awaiting me in my email this morning. In this horrid flurry of negative and crushing news...I need you.
Thank you.
I love You!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Lovely to see you here! I wrote this piece long before what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. Everyone I love seems mildly to wildly depressed at the moment. I thought wine writing should reflect that. I love the depressed guy Voice. Unnamed, he may reappear.

You know I love you too.

John Lahart said...

I stopped reading wine books long ago.
I did learn some important things about wine from those books though.

--the French are even better marketers than wine makers. (we bought into the whole wine and cheese pairing thing). Try a glass of milk with your premier cru Burgundy! and "if you see rocks..well you will taste rocks." Except in California where obviously there are no rocks!

--a savvy wine writer Andrew Sharp discussing "minerality" sagely noted that most wines described as having minerality seemed to be low alcohol high acid whites from cooler climes.....makes you go hmmmmmm.

--terroir? It's nature! Europe has it. Other places? Napa for eg--just a bunch of greedy capitalists sucking nature out of wine for money. I know they have rocks and weather so.....

--adding sugar? Good. Adding water? Bad. (very bad).

--white zinfandel might be rose'

--how come all labels on French wines seem to indicate 12.5 alcohol (how do they do that?)

--"natural" wines are like pornography. No one seems to be able to define them but they know them when they taste them (or read a wine maker's manifesto). Actually I get the second part--you do "know" one when you taste it.

--critics? scores? It's all about perspective and criteria. A critic tastes three hundred wines made in Bordeaux for ten vintages and scores them according to a rigid system (well many do). We like to open a bottle and declare "so and so gave this a 95. what an idiot. I give it a 93. By the way, that 84 point wine is as one critic indicates.."A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws." Not bad. (your 84 is a "very good" wine!)

--the most ludicrous piece of advice is "don't listen to your own palate!" These same "helpful wine lovers" are quick to deride all those folks who enjoy Gallo Hearty Burgundy!

--also in the dopey wine lure category is the notion that someone will buy a highly scored wine and upon not liking it will continue to drink (and pay for) that same wine. Like someone who hates liver will keep ordering it cause Tony Bourdain loves it.

--somewhere in some book I learned that the "cat's pee" note in some SB's is a chemical (I had long thought it was from cat's peeing in the vineyards or the vats!) terroir you know! Incidentally--wine is a chemical or made up of a lot of chemical compounds. so where does nature/terroir end and fermentation begin?

--I think I finally got it! Natural wines are where wild grape vines drop their fruit into a ditch where they puddle and ferment! "Yeah that's the ticket!"

Anyway, there's lot's more but I would rather just drink the stuff (following my own palate of course).
wait one more thought--
If one should follow/trust their own palate why do we need so many wine books?

The Primlani Kitchen said...

Can't confer yet if it is a gift from god. That said, working my very first harvest as an intern in Oregon, averaging 18 hrs daily, I can certainly validate that wine truly is a labor of sweat, stickiness, love, and patience.