Monday, August 6, 2018

Natural Disaster Wines

Natural Wines are so last year. Oh, there’s the usual set of One Trick Phonies out there who will never stop evangelizing for Natural Wines. What else do they have? Natural Wine is their only identity. There’s an enormous world of wine out there, but they’ve chosen to live in Neverland like the Poor Lost Boys. Never add sulfites. Never fine. Never filter. Never call anything a fault. Never grow up. Neverland is a beautiful place, a wonderful make-believe place, a place where you can fly if only you have enough pixie dust and blind faith (the basic definition of biodynamics).

The next logical step in wine trends would seem to me to be Natural Disaster Wines. It all began with the hilariously un-self-aware In Pursuit of Balance movement, which begat Natural Wines, which will, I predict, begat (beget? begot? bebopaloola?) Natural Disaster Wines. You can be sure these wines will be the darlings of sommeliers everywhere. Read all about the first of them, from the pioneers at Climate Change Cellars, over at Tim Atkin's site. As always, your comments there are welcome. Or feel free to leave your thoughtful carbon emissions here. We're all in this together.



Samantha Dugan said...

Alma Geddon, reading that was like falling in love with you all over again.

Carole Meredith said...

As usual, Ron, you are way ahead of everybody else.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Well, it's no Avril Cadavril, but I liked it, too.



Thank you, Carole. All the recent wildfires around here, and the endless talk about smoke taint, made me wake up one day and think, Hell, if we can love Brett and reductive smells and various and sundry other faults that fall under the category of "natural," why can't we embrace smoke taint as a positive in wine? And, thus, Alma Geddon was born.

Unknown said...

Hello Ron from SoCal where it's only 98 today... So is Alma Geddon the new Lo Hai Qu???
George Ronay

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey George,
Actually, it seems everything I do is a new Lo.

But Alma Geddon may just return. She seems to be on to something.

Jim Klein said...

Seriously hope you're onto something - We still have a few bottles left from 2008. This $12 Grenache is now more cigar than forest fire...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

If smoke taint isn't "terroir," what is? Fire is as natural as anything else in the environment. It wouldn't surprise me to see Isabelle Legeron MW, Alice Feiring, and Marissa Ross write about how much they like wines with it. And it says a lot to say that it's well within the realm of possibility.

Navarro was upfront about those wines. Supporting them was thoughtful. Cellaring the wines, not so much.

Unknown said...

If you've not seen it yet you might be interested in Bonnes's latest, "Why is the Wine World so Un'Woke? (Punch).

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Whomever You Are,
I did read Jon's Punch piece, which read more to me like a mea culpa for years of his being one of the wine writers he's excoriating. And for having a very narrow view of wine. Though at least Jon can write, which makes him a rare wine writer indeed.

A moral concept of wine, which is what his piece is about, is what's known as a First World Problem. Drink a wine that is made by some measure of your own moral compass, and no other wines. Then talk about how horrible it is that we discriminate against the migrant workers who pick the grapes--the grapes for the wines we won't drink because they're not Natural Wines, simply the basis for those migrant workers' income. It's First World wine chic phoniness. It's way too much entitled people hooey for me--the very definition of PUNCH.

Jon is right that wine writing has always focused on saying something nice, or saying nothing at all. The writers who do that make all the 100 Most Important People in Wine lists. I like to think I've been an exception to that rule. Doesn't mean much. I'm still the very definition of obscurity. But one thing I'm not is a shill. Not a lot of wine writers can honestly say that.

Unknown said...

Until I read this post that made me laugh and marvel at your wit, I didn't realize how much I missed your writing. Well done, as always. I'll be looking for the new posters with Smoky the Bear toasting with a wine glass. Steve Pinzon

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thank you, as always! And remember, Only You Can Prevent Forest Floor!

Unknown said...

Ron, as the old joke goes, don't buy flowers from a padre. Remember, only you can prevent florist friars. Steve Pinzon

Wine4every1 said...

I guess I’m in Neverland after reading a post that’s almost 1 year old. Imagine where I could be if I was ingesting Natural Wine.

Unknown said...


I have no idea why this year old post was sent out via email to my subscribers! Some weird Google glitch. Yikes. My apologies.

Unknown said...

Remember that Ebola is natural too. But not a good thing. BTW the 2008 smoked wines were horrible. We made several and it was very unpleasant.

Gary Rosenthal said...

Hey, I just posted my comment, but you can't see it, like I never commented, and I really did. Is that why the website said Comment Moderation has been enabled, and now all comments must be approved by the blog author?

And what I was saying was that I'm confused. Because I was just listening to Fox News--who agreed with Ron--that the smoke from disasters is really NATURAL.

(so Ron, you really ought to approve of the comments I was just making. And if you approve you don't have to publish what I'm writing now, cause I already wrote it in the comments not yet approved). But just to refresh, while I can still remember, in case what I wrote was just lost and not not yet approved...

Shawn Hanratty was saying that smoke is perfectly natural cause you can actually taste smoke in Burgundian pinot, along with cranberry, forest floor, and a whiff of clove (if there's not too much barnyard from the Donkey shit left by dems). And he was really strong in the way he said it. He really knows his stuff.

But then, just to get a more balanced view I listened to the new station that Trump likes even better than Fox on account of the new writer guy they hired all the way from Russia. And that guy was saying all that smoke was really caused because Californians don't adequately rake their forests, cause the forests are like flammable sand traps on a poorly maintained golf course. So what he's really saying here is that it's not so much that smoke is natural, but actually bad, and caused by the Dems.

Since both were on TV one of these views must be correct, or at least more correct than the one that was less correct.

And I ended my message--the one not yet approved-- by speculating that Mueller might address this tomorrow, if he doesn't wimp out--and if the Dems let him say what he really feels. What do you think?

P.S. I live alone with my hamster, and want to hear from other people. You guys are the best. You really are! And I'd especially like to hear from Ron, though I've never met him, he's kind of my idol, now that Robt Parker has retired.
Your dear friend, Gary Rosenthal

Marcia Macomber said...

You've outdone yourself! Alma Geddon is a treasure for disaster wine lovers! Pass the smoke-taint wine bottle!