Monday, October 27, 2014

Lo Hai Qu Patronizes Hip Wine Bars

It's been a while since Lo Hai Qu has had a chance to speak her mind on the pressing wine issues of the day. I'm getting tired of blogging, so I asked her to write about whatever is eating at her. That may have been a mistake...

Me and my girls, we been goin’ to a lot of new wine bars lately. It was Shizzangela’s idea, really. She thinks it’s funny to go and just order whatever weird white wine they’re serving and then send it back saying, “Don’t you have any Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio? Man, you put the damn sewer in connoisseur.” Shizzy doesn’t really care what she puts in her big mouth, she just wants to make a scene, though you’d think walking into a wine bar in a big ol’ sequined wine shirt that says, “Stick your Salmanazar between my Double Magnums” would get her enough attention. Damn Shizzy. She crazy.

So when you walk into these wine bars, they hand you a menu. There’s all kinds of wine on there that I never heard of, and, like, the only way I know anything about them is what category they’re listed under—Sparkling, White, Red, LGBT… I’m kinda scared of the LGBT wines, those are the ones you order blind and have no idea what’s going to end up in you. Mostly, they’re German. But, you know, rather than feel stupid that I don’t recognize any of the wines listed, I think, fuck ‘em, I’ll just do what I always do and order anything that costs under $12 a glass.  At that price, most of the wines taste the same anyway. Sure, they’re all fancy ass Sicilian white wines, or some Portuguese shit, they have names like Catarrotto or Encruzado or Poophole Poblano, but when you’re sluggin’ ‘em down in a crowded bar and stupid Loqueesha sitting right next to you wearing her favorite cologne, Eau du Booty by Beyoncé, they might as well be Fresno Chenin Blanc. They’re cold, they got alcohol, they cost $12 a glass, I don’t care that they’re made by Sicilians or Greeks or Green goddam Hungarians.

Yeah, but everybody thinks we Millennials care. We don’t care about those weird varieties and getting to know all about the wines of Bosnia, or wines made without sulfites or integrity. I didn’t even know what “Sans Soufré” meant, I thought it meant “Without Panties.” I mean, that’s what Shizzy told me it meant, so I ordered it cuz I qualified. And, believe me, it was really breezy in that fuckin’ wine bar sitting there Sans Soufré. No, we don’t care about that trivial wine crap. We just don’t. Money is what’s on our minds most of the time cuz, mostly, we don’t got any, and those weird wines make us feel like we’re getting a deal. OK, like, if I pay $12 for a glass of Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc, I’m an asshole. If I buy a glass of Inzolia for the same money, I’m a damned genius, and a wine connoisseur. You can’t tell the difference between the two—they both drink like the all the ice melted in your melon-flavored vodka. But the Inzolia makes us feel like we’re hip and adventurous, instead of morons getting ripped off in a wine bar.  

Is there anything more pretentious than a wine bar? Come on, a wine bar is nothing special. It’s just a brew pub for sissies. Me and my friends just go there because it’s kinda fun to watch how different it is being part of the wine culture.  So like in a brew pub a guy comes up to you and says something like, “OK, I saw you walk in and my lager got hard. Wanna beer?” In a wine bar the guy goes, “Have you tasted the single-varietal Cilieogiolo? It’s natural.” Like natural gets you laid. Natural never got any girl Sans Soufré, not even Sans Boobage. Natural don’t get you shit.

What the fuck is “natural” wine, anyway? I see this term all over the place, and I don’t have any idea what it means.  I mean, I know what it’s supposed to mean, it’s supposed to mean that it’s a lot less fucked with, like some ugly guy with bad breath and a pit bull. In that case, I don’t think I want “natural” wine (and I’m tired of having to put air quotes around the word “natural”--fuck, I mean, natural, like natural, Sans Fingrés). I don’t trust anything that has to say it’s natural. Like when you did something stupid when you were a kid, say accidentally flood the bathroom trying to flush the guinea pig you fed chewing tobacco to see if he’d spit down the toilet after he died, and your parents came home, you’d try to “act natural.” In other words, fake. That’s kind of what natural wines are, right? You know, cover up your stupid winery mistakes when you’re about to get busted by acting like it’s all perfectly natural. Hell, the pig is dead, you might as well start lying first thing.

Just give me good wine.  I don’t care if it’s natural or not. I don’t care what they did to it in the winery to make it taste good. Hell, if I was worried about the things I put in my body, I wouldn’t be cruisin’ wine bars looking for casual sex in the first place.

I read somewhere that the wine business is worried that my generation is going to start drinking more cocktails and beer than wine. That’s stupid. Me and my friends know it’s a fucked-up world you’re leaving us. The stuff we’ve got to look forward to is, like, climate change and Ebola and marriage between consenting mammals. That’s why you old wine people love natural wine. You’ve totally screwed up the environment, and now you think drinking natural wines will help. That’s like giving an NFL lineman with fifteen years of brain concussions two Advil and a loaded gun and thinking you’re a better person for it. No, when you’re all dead and gone, old wine people, old sommeliers, old wine critics, old rich white guys with wine cellars the size of a Red Cross tent city in Somalia, me and my friends will be drinking the best new Anchorage Pinot Noir and hoping we don’t get that new crossover virus from ferrets, weasel fever.

Right now we’re drinking more cocktails, more beer, and more wine. All of it. We’re drinkin’ like there’s no tomorrow. Because, hell, there’s no tomorrow.


Eric V. Orange said...

Nice one Hose. Especially liked this,
"It’s just a brew pub for sissies."
You must really be channeling her, 'cause you sound "authentic".


Daniel said...

Spot on Hose! I always feel like most wine bars are just a place to sell really cheap weird or unwanted wine to people who have no idea what they are doing at a 1000% markup...
actual statement from a 'wine bar' owner: "I recommend the Bodega Malbec" I almost asked him if he had some "Chateau" Bordeaux or maybe he could offer some "Brewery Beer". It would have gone nice with the "Warehouse Club Food".

Marcia Macomber said...

It's lines like "Stick your Salmanazar between my Double Magnums" that leave the rest in the dust (and not Rutherford Dust).

Lo's on a roll. It's a good day to turn the blog over to her for a moment...but not for too long, I hope!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Eric,
I just felt the need to get my Lo on, and this is what emerged. To my ear, it doesn't ring quite right for her, but she's still always fun to write. I think "brew pub for sissies" is how a lot of people think about wine bars. They could be right.

I don't spend much time in wine bars, so, as always, I just make this crap up. But "Bodega Malbec" is pretty classic. Thanks for that.

Marcia Love,
Lo's friends are sort of inspired by the young women I encounter in tasting rooms. If I think about what group of people have the absolute foulest mouths on the planet these days, it's 25-year-old women. Which, of course, I thoroughly enjoy.

Charlie Olken said...

Ah, the hidden brilliance in such a simple thought.

Drinking Inzolia makes you feel hipper than drinking Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc.

That same flawed logic has extended to the San Francisco Chronicle wine section. But have you noticed that its head wine boy has been nowhere to be seen in print lately. Can somebody there have gotten the message that watered down melon-vodka is not so hip after all. And did LHQ see this coming?

Don Carter said...

From this day forward a smile will cross my face whenever I encounter a Salmanazar, and whatever is inside those double magnums, I'm sure it's seen a lot of wood.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Lo Hai Qu is pretty much 50% of an idiot savant. She barely sees sunrise coming.

There you go. A comment in the great spirit of my intern, Lo Hai Qu. Thanks for that.

gabriel jagle said...


I just wrapped up working harvest with a 23-year old from Brooklyn, and she was the opposite of Lo. She only drank hip wines like skin-contact pinot gris and pet-nat. I kept thinking what a great character she would make for you to write about.


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey, man, nice to see you here. You always disappear at harvest. Welcome back.

Sounds like you had quite the interesting intern. In fact, I just might have to have Lo Hai Qu write about her attempt at being an intern...Thanks for the idea!

gabriel jagle said...

I see bunghole jokes on the horizon

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Perhaps, but not from Lo Hai Qu. She's too much of a lady to joke about bungholes. Some of her best friends are bungholes.

gabriel jagle said...

i've been making bunghole jokes since my first harvest. 2014 was a really warm vintage in Oregon, so a lot of this years jokes were about "dropping acid". That sounds like something Shizzangle would be into