When I first got into wine, not just in the wine business but really into wine, I used to wonder why so many of the people that came into our shop were confused, nervous, would profess their lack of knowledge with the scrunched brow of the truly pained and seemed to turn the shopping for what should be something pleasurable into something akin to a visit to the dentist or gynecologist. I would stand there, big goofy grin on my face while these poor people would shift their weight from one foot to the other, hem and haw, tug at loose strings on the sides of their jeans while they sheepishly expressed their desire to find a wine, to go with whatever, at such and such price point, in nearly whispered tones as if they were confessing their sins to a priest or asking for a box of ribbed for her pleasure condoms from behind the counter. Never got that and as soon as I found enough swagger in my wine slinging step, I made it my personal charge to make every single one of the people that walked through the doors of The Wine Country feel comfortable enough to ask and tell us anything.
We aren’t priests, (although I have worn a collar, but only once and never at work) and we aren’t here to judge or impose our ideas or palates on anyone. You want to drink sweet red with your spaghetti and meatballs? Right on, I’ll show you the wines we have that will hit that sweet spot for you. You want to spend $8.00 on a bottle to go with your $35.00 a pound ribeyes? Right this way. You need a red wine to go with lobster? Well you tell me what you like to drink and I will happily slip a bottle under your arm that will be just what you asked me for. Not my place, unless asked, to tell you what you should be drinking and enjoying. That has been the way we’ve done things for years at the shop and while we continue to write articles, teach classes and offer our suggestions when we fear someone is on the track of wine and food pairing destruction, in the end it will always be your palate we aim to please. Period. So why the nervous and creased faces? Took only one click of my cursor on a friend’s posted Facebook link the other day to remind me….fucking crappy ass magazines.
Long time readers are all too familiar http://sansdosage.blogspot.com/2010/10/im-quitting-you.html with my vein-popping irritation with Food & Wine magazine and their cheese loaded, half-assed, half-hearted, “Ugh!” inducing, shit articles about wine. I’ve not only gone after them here but I ended up canceling my over ten year subscription due to their lack of understanding and actual appreciation for wine…you know, the beverage that they named half their ragazine after?! Yeah, so finally picked off that scab and now, well now I’ve got goddamn Facebook to alert me of all the pomposity and douchebaggery my beloved business has to offer. Yay?
So being the Champagne buyer for the store I was bound to click on an article someone linked about Valentine’s Day Sparklers. Had to right? No, no I really didn’t but I did. Should have scrunched my own brow and backed away slowly when I saw the cartoon picture of a man with sleek black hair…tying on a bowtie. I didn’t. “Who is this misogynistic effusive prick?!” the not so whispered, through clinched teeth, growl that inspired both my husband and son to emerge from the back of the apartment to see what it was I was fuming about. No wonder people think we are all crank yanking asshats…
So this, paid for, (grrrrr) article starts with,
“Depending on when you are reading this you have between two and six weeks to ace your plans for the Big V. Yes, that’s Valentine’s Day-for her the most important day of the year”
Okay, now if this is true, the first tip I might give is to stop dating 16 year olds. Really? The most important day of the year?! So “The Big V.” stands for “has vagina and will wig if you don’t pretend that this Hallmark sponsored day of love appreciation is not rightly recognized”?? Has she been pining away all day, ringing her apron and wrapping her curler heavy head in toilet paper waiting…breathlessly, all day for your to punch the old clock at 5:00 giving her just enough time to slither into that, “something pretty” you bought her, remove the curlers and brush out her curls, with a good spray of Aqua Net of course, and pouty her lips before you get home? I’m guessing not, dickwad.
“Plenty of relationships have tanked on St. Valentine’s Day, (adding the St. part is very important here…lets the reader know the author knows history and junk, therefore, wicked smart and a man to be listened to) because the guy’s efforts didn’t measure up to expectations”
She was already looking for a way out jackhole. If you think it’s really because you bought carnations instead of roses, you’re dumber than I thought. And…
“The best way to avoid disaster is to start the evening with a bottle of fizz”
Is fizz cooler or more man-like than bubbles? You just toss out the manned up term “Fizz”? Yeah, I’m sure you do and you probably call the one black man in your office, “Bro” complete with the teeth sunk into your thin bottom lip and a fist pump, rest your sunglasses on the back of your neck and give the head toss and “Yo!” to any dude that is younger, (and far cooler) than you are. You are quite the catch dude, might I suggest carnations?
He then goes on to talk about Prosecco, (yeah and I’m sorry, I still think it’s stupid) and Cava. He instructs his fellow Bros and Dudes that these are very fashionable right now but there is a dearth of shit ones to wade through, (and doesn’t tell you which to avoid…useful that) but is sure to give the “relationship saving” advice that at least they are cheap!
Please, Just Shut Up
He then goes on to further confuse shit with descriptions like”
“Almost ethereal in its delicacy. Elusive as early morning mist and just as beguiling”
“If she has a penchant for sweeter wines, this is the way to her heart, and your future well-being”
“despite its highly suspect bright scarlet color, this is a surprisingly balanced and grown up wine. A touch of cherry cola…..”
“It leaves the impression of crystalline clarity”
“Displays and impressive haughtiness”