Monday, October 24, 2016

Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan on Wine

While it may have come as something of a shock to many people when Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, it certainly wasn’t a surprise to those of us who have followed Dylan’s brilliant wine writing over the years. At least it wasn’t as much of a surprise as the announcement that Pete Rose had won the Nobel Peace Prize, or that Julian Assange won Miss Teen USA. Won her in a Trump for President raffle.

I'm not one of those people who thinks Bob Dylan is a great American poet. Now, Smokey Robinson, there's our generation's Emily Dickinson. But I do admire Dylan's wine writing, which, it seems to me, has been shamefully neglected. So I've collected a few of Dylan's best pieces of wine writing and posted them over at the Wine Advocate's Wine Journal. Wander over there and see what you think. I can hardly wait for Dylan's thoughts on 2016 Bordeaux. Though more than likely it will be his usual assessment, "Don't think twice, it's all right."



Unknown said...

Fun stuff Ron.. I thought you were on vacation.. funny, the Nobel people are tearing their hair out as Dylan could care less and hasn't gotten in touch with them.. I got an old bootleg of Dylan doing Blind Willie McTell with an old Stones guitarist and the slide is just sublime and typical Dylan, he never put it out.. I think I'll go put on Blood on the Tracks..

Mark Rader said...

When you wrote something about Pete Rose as a Nobel Peace Prize recipient I thought, "Where have I been?" Then I remembered: Rose won the Nobel Peace Prize awarded semiannually by Larry Nobel, former trainer with the Cincy Reds. Now it all makes sense.

Said another way, I see you're back...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I'm done with my little birthday vacation. Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature seems misguided, at best. The past few years their choices have been headscratchers, but for Alice Munro, who is a genius. But it's their award. And, hell, a lot of people were stunned that I won a Roederer Wine Writing Award. I hear Dylan is writing a song about me...

Actually, Pete won the Nobel Peace Prize in a poker game with Obama. Never play poker with Pistol Pete. And I'm back. But for how long? Time will tell.

Unknown said...

Well there ya go Ron.. I love their choice and I think Alice Munro is the most turgid, bleak, boring stuff imaginable... and I'm a Canuck.. it's heresay!! ha ha.. I know the argument, he's a songwriter, not a poet, etc.. but you look at his body of work and the incredible influence.. I think it's a great choice...

Bob Henry said...

The meter (metre) is a little off, so allow me the benefit of poetic license . . .

"A Satisfied Mind"

How many times have you heard someone say
If I had his RATINGS I'd do things my way
Hmm, but little they know
Hmm, it's so hard to find
One WINEMAKER in ten with a satisfied mind.

Hmm, once I was wadding in fortune and fame
Everything that I dreamed of to get a start in life's game
But suddenly it happened
Hmm, I lost 90 POINTS
But I'm richer by far with NO PARKER ANOINTS.

Hmm, when my life is over and my time has run out
My friends and my love ones
I'll leave there ain't no doubt
But one thing for certain
When it comes my time
I'll leave this old world with a satisfied mind.

Bob Henry said...

"Missing Link" forgot to honor his sobriquet.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

While I understand that Alice Munro isn't everyone's idea of a great writer, "turgid" she ain't. Bob Dylan, while a great songwriter and unquestionably influential, is hardly, in my mind, literature. Oh, the argument goes that Homer was a poet of the spoken word, but my answer to that is, "Doh!" Wrong Homer. But is it?

I don't care that Dylan won. Prizes, as I've said repeatedly, are about the people who award them, not the recipients. Giving the Nobel to Dylan makes the Swedes appear cool and hip and anti-establishment. But it's lame. There are a dozen worthy writers who were overlooked, maybe more, and none of them will ever write song lyrics and think it "literature." To the degree that it has attracted attention to the moribund Nobel Prizes, it succeeded. But, in my mind, it's a huge boner.

Unknown said...

Well, for someone who doesn't care about awards.. your website sure is festooned with a lot of them.. and pronouncements about how proud you are to have received the latest.. so what is it??

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I didn't say I didn't care about awards. I just have a different perspective on them. I'm happy to have won a Roederer Award. But it is called a "Roederer" award, which generates lots of free publicity for them. The awards do more for their prestige than mine, since I still don't have any. I'm happy to have been awarded the prize, for the reasons I wrote about--it would have made my mother proud, and it brings satire to the wine writing table.

Bob Dylan doesn't need a Nobel Prize. He's maybe the rare person whose obit won't begin, "Nobel Laureate dies at ___." He's Bob Damn Dylan. In this case, surely, the Nobels knew the attention his win would generate.

Plus, the Roederer had a cash award! So, yeah, I'm happy about that. Maybe even honored.

Winey The Elder said...

And yet, these visions of Johannisberg Riesling remain. Lovely spoof Hosemeister.

Unknown said...

"Wine had captured his soul, or, as Dylan writes, “Wine had captured my soul, not that I was using it much, I was mostly just drunk. That’s when you meet your soul, reflected in porcelain.” Oh, he is truly a great poet."

Brilliant on so many levels! Glad to see that you haven't skipped a beat despite a well-deserved vacation/break.

Unknown said...

Touche Ron.. I'm going to create the Golden Raisin Awards to further the cause of satire in wine... and you're going to be one of the first recipients: The Who's bullshit definitely going to retire this time award, plus a side order of poor me this is so hard to write award.. I fully expect you to proudly display your Golden Raisin award on your web page (a shriveled raisin attached to a bottle of plonk) and monetary compensation will be 5 cents.