Thursday, January 30, 2014

An Uncivil War

I will preface this post by saying that I know it will likely land me in the doghouse with many of the people that I have grown to love and respect in this business of mine. I know it and yet I still feel compelled to sit here, nails clicking away, mind a blustery mess of opinions and rants, heart kind of deflated by the vitriol and, at times, simply venomous words that are being launched…both in retaliation and preemptive, at others about something as civilizing and subjective as wine. I shall refrain from silly abbreviations and ask frankly, what the fuck?!

I was recently watching a Law & Order Criminal Intent. The story was based around a wine collector that was found dead in his, bursting-at-the-seams and much envied wine cellar. This is where I confess, (once again to my long time readers) that I am wholly addicted to all things Law & Order. I watch them all; SVU, Criminal Intent and even the plain old regular ones. Love. It is true love and I can say that I have wasted whole days watching marathon upon marathon of this particular show. So imagine my elation when finding a whole show with my beloved wine as a backdrop for an episode, with Vincent “Smoking Hot” D’Onofrio to boot. Watching the tall bunch of smart and inquisitive picking up glasses of wine, burying his nose in it….spinning my business all around all while all the while getting into the head of the suspects he is after. Well shit howdy, color me one tickled pink wine slinger.

I was about ten minutes in and my giddy heart simply sank. Douche bags. Every wine person in the show was an absolute douche bag! I shit you not. Each one loathsome and repugnant, full of their own stuffiness and insider speak. Everyone from the young rich dude, with the mansion and phone call about Bordeaux futures he was unwilling to excuse himself from in order to talk to the detectives to the over the top wine critic, called “The Nose”…of course. The guy that was super effeminate, had his nose insured by Lloyd’s of London, for like a trillion dollars or whatever the fuck, and was given into fits of haughtiness that had him spewing zingers like, “Oh you don’t know your Bordeaux from your Burgundy!” what a burn! Take that mother f’ers! Ugh. Add some cloaked hobbits and wizards and we got us a Super Dork Asshole convention. Rad…

Just could not believe that wine people were still seen as such snotty and exclusionary dickwads. What with adds everywhere, more wine showing up on television and movies. More cultures than ever coming to the wine drinking table and still, wine professionals are still being depicted as uber rich, old white guys banging young twenty somethings, (um, Ron…hesh up you) that get whacked by spiking their Comte de Vogue with Viagra. The only chick they had in the whole show was a woman from India that was on her 100th level of WSET or something. Dude. Horrid. Horrid and quite honestly, embarrassing. I thought about boycotting Law & Order, because you know my fifteen hundred hours of viewing a month is keeping them alive but more than anything I had to wonder, “Where are they getting this shit?”

Didn’t take much digging to figure it out.

Now I have stayed pretty neutral on this ever growing, Us vs. Them, Old World (to some this will read east coast elitist) New World, (to some this will read beginners or unenlightened) Bloggers and Critics Wine War thingie. I’ve been silently tucked away in our little store watching it all. Loving many players on both sides of the bickering and mudslinging and at a complete loss as to what either is hoping to prove or moreover, win. My eyes so feverishly searching for a reason that they cause my brow to arch into that stern look that used to make my son quiver…the insecurity of my own voice keeping me from speaking up but now, now I would just like to ask everyone with some bone to pick or point to “prove” (and you know you never will right?) to shut the hell up and start thinking about what really matters. How the hell are we going to grow this business of ours?!

I sit here with my crave inducing Dave Matthews, (Oh come on Google Alert!!) groaning in my ears. Words like, “I like my coffee with toast and jelly but I would rather be licking you from your back to your belly” making me dizzy, making me….want, knowing all the while that one of my most beloved and closest friends hates Dave. Like a lot. She thinks he is horrible and is much more of the Bon Jovi, (sigh). I don’t get it. I think she is high and is missing the sensual and subtle nuance in a line like, “Kiss me won’t you kiss me now, and sleep I will inside your mouth” and she doesn’t get why I don’t’ get lit up by, “I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride. I’m wanted, wanted dead or alive”. Do I think she’s wrong? No. Not for her she’s not. Now if she is trying to seduce me, well then yes but for now she’s not and we are both content and extremely happy listening to our, very different crooners. And while I might never understand what makes her throw up the metal sign and nod her head to Bon Jovi, she will likely forever find my devotion to Dave’s sticky and dripping with sweat verbiage, “not the real way dudes talk”. 

Is My Amy wrong for thinking Jon Bon Jovi is hotter than Dave Matthews? Am I wrong in thinking that no matter how many times I am taught and schooled on classical music that it just isn’t for me? Is Ron Washam wrong for not loving Pinot Noir Rose? Is Randy Kemner wrong for not embracing Zinfandel? Is Charlie Olken wrong for defending Rombauer Chardonnay? Eric Asimov, Jon Bonne, Robert Parker, James Suckling, Alice Fiering, Alfonso Cevola, Steve Heimoff, Samantha Dugan….(check me out like putting my name in there where the fancy wine folks are, my blog goddamn it) we are all wrong when we perpetuate the insufferable wine snob and are unwilling or able to see anyone else’s point of view….and respect it.

Drink what moves you
Alice, get your natural freak on
Alfonso, I beg you…write what inspires you
Charlie, teach us with that loving heart of yours
Randy, show them all what I have seen…what made me love wine
Ron,  just write….anything
Amy, I still don’t get it but we can bicker over a glass of something icy cold and from the old world
Eric, I get you.

I crave more wine at the table. More people walking through the doors of The Wine Country. More people knowing what it is to cave and surrender, feel your throat expand and swallow, the shiver and “one more sip” of whatever wine speaks to them. 

                            (and a little of this. Damn....rawr.)

Now how do I get the producers of Law & Order to feature a funny looking, oddly shaped blonde chick that swears like a sailor, is not quite comfortable in her skin and wears glasses but is a wine geek of first order, to squash that “Nose” fucker…..

Originally posted July, of 2011..and yet. 


Alfonso Cevola said...

I'm gonna need more than a bucket of buttered popcorn for this movie....dunno what that means, but I reckon folks will figure it out. I'm hopeful for all of us on spaceship earth

Samantha Dugan said...

Alfonso My Dear,
You are one of the very rare, consistent and none muddied bloggers that doesn't feel the need to bark at others and I for one, I love you and your work for it. Thanks for what you do.

Thomas said...

you want more of this crap? Spend some time on one of those wine forum sites, where not one person is wrong--ever--not even the ones who don't know what they are talking about!

The nitpicking at minutiae on the forum sites makes bloggers seem incomprehensibly ill-informed--wait a minute.

Samantha Dugan said...

More?! I didn't even take the time to re-write or re-vamp this steaming piece. Just goes to show that nothing changes but the seasons....

Forums are for trolls. Can't stomach that bullshit, hell I can't even muster a Twat so I'm not built, as they say, for that snarling and chest pounding of forums. I'm more of a gently groaning, sometimes ranting, "please just shhhh and share a glass with me" kind of gal. Explains why I'm not a fancy writer, or blogger.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
You move into a neighborhood where the Poodles bark incessantly, the only way to get them to stop is to poison their food. They have no reason to stop. It's the sound of their own barking they love, not what they're barking about.

But, as always, you're right. Except about Pinot Noir Rose. I may not like it, but I'm happy for those who do.

Alfonso is the Yoda of wine bloggers. Notice his green profile photo. Coincidence? I don't think so. The rest of us just babble on endlessly, pretending someone understands or cares. The best way to get noticed by the ugly pack of Poodles is to poop in someone's front yard, mostly Parker's. Everyone stops to sniff the poop, leaves a little of their own, and the whole pack is happy. As this repeat proves, 'twas ever thus.

Meanwhile, why ain't you writing more?

I love you so, Baby.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Lack of inspiration I think. You think you can fix that?
I love you too

Anonymous said...

My favorite Columbo episode not co-starring Patrick McGoohan( BTW, Samantha, if you're not familiar with McGoohan you might check out some videos from Danger Man: it might stimulate your...flow of words) was Any Port in a Storm, with Donald Pleasance playing a connoisseur with a gripe. Great episode, and respectful to us Fools For Wine.

Samantha Dugan said...

Redmond Barry,
Well welcome to my little corner of the wine blog world, always nice to see...well to see any faces but new ones can be really fun! Thanks so much for the tip, I am not familiar with McGoohan ans lawd knows I can use anything to start this here flow! I'll check it out and as I said, thanks for taking the time to comment.