- Stephen J. Gould
If you write one more milk-toast post, article, column, video, or tv segment that has dumbed wine down to the point of being an erfin' beverage similar to an Sandra Lee Mojo-Rita- I'm going to call Charlie B (scroll to 1:40) and he will white-tux-hunt-you-down like cattle and gut you-- For real.
The BS of "demystifiying" (or taking the snobbery out of) wine" has done more harm to quality wine than good. It robs wine of almost everything special about it-- place, people, facts, history, intent, questions, etc. You can squawk that this wholesale stankification is needed "to get people into wine"-- But shizz, the road to Chez Panisse doesn't get shorter by making stops at Applebee's'.
Why is this happening? Because someone somewhere said that wine was intimidating- And instead of changing the tone, we believed them and removed its soul. (We've also found that if we write without any details- it is also a hell of a lot easier.)
By deliberately stripping out information, It has helped 100's of millions of gallons of seepage to be bottled and considered in the same breath as something made by hand, heart, blood and sweat from a piece of dirt with something articulate and beautiful to say.
(check out Drywell's awesome other art too!)
Yes, the market is still in the dumps- and a lot of quality producers do have to bulk off wine to keep cash coming in, but this is double edged- Beyond pricing, people are trading down in part due to thoughts that this is equal to this.
At work, I see a full spectrum of visitors--from Master Somms to people who are just starting to drink wine. Before I start, I always ask "How geeky should we get?" I've never had a single person say "not very"-- People want to know. If presented right, they enjoy it, it is what gets them into wine and why they stand there with a glass in their hand.
There needed to be (and still needs to be) corrections in the market. There are just as many 'roids in the floor seats of wine as there are in section 622 row TT seat 91. But as the sun starts to come up- this is where we need to question, to share, to dig and get the shiz out of wine and the qualities and truth back in. Wine from a real place, made by the hands of people with integrity that give a shi*.
By snobbery I don't mean being a prick, or pretentious-- I mean detailed and questioning- a love for what makes wine WINE! And if that bottle is made from a couple million gallons of leftover wine from 200 different places run through a meat grinder is a detail you chose to leave out, Charlie B is going to find you and it won't be pretty.