Friday, July 20, 2012

Next Best?

This is a subject that has been on my mind a lot the past couple days, “The next best thing” not even runner up really. Runner up holds some distinction, like it was close, a tight battle but one just edged out the other. With the next best thing there is a sad, almost conciliatory feeling. Like, “This was the best! Oh, but we have this too” um, yay? As someone that has more often than I’d like to admit been on the other side of that, “Oh, okay, you’ll do” face, I can tell you, sucks. Finding myself here again, at 41 when I had mistakenly stumbled into to fluffy little bubble of delusion, that thinking there might be something a wee bit special about me only to have a someone shove a massive Snow White like mirror in my face, a reminder that there is….and will likely forever be, someone more special and better than I. Something I must confess has had me retreating, lost in my own thoughts of damnation and accusation. Blaming myself for not being…I don’t know what, prettier, smarter, funnier, more passionate, engaging, compelling, sweet…all of it. Yup kids, while I was writing wine porn and answering your questions I did so with this thick boot of, “You aren’t even close to being good enough” across my throat, and I can see and feel it in my responses. Matter of fact, I think that boot has been hovering for a bit now, threatening to close in at any second, making me flinch, and choose my words way too fucking carefully. For what? Enough….

“I think I would rather drink a magnum of fartwater than a glass of that Pinotage” words that not only came out of my mouth, and more than once, but showed up in my Facebook feed today after tasting through a flight of five wines from the southern hemisphere. I had run through the wines with our newest buyer, one that was hosting his first real tasting this afternoon. He was excited and nervous, anxious but geared up to talk about these wines that he was recently put in charge of. Argentine Malbec, Pinotage from South Africa, Tannat from Uruguay, Shiraz from Australia and a Carmenere from Chile, yeah….tough to be the new guy. The selections chosen were sound, for what they are, (and if you think this somewhat reflective post is going to someway defend Pinotage, you are sadly mistaken. Stuff is utter crap. Sorry. Fartwater wins) solid representations of those varieties from those areas, but for me wines that would convert me to a beer or cocktail drinker for life. Funky, sweet, oaky, oddly herbal and as was the case with the Tannat, tannic as fuck. My face was scrunchie from wine one to the end and I even sampled a left bottle of Armagnac to rid my palate of the gunk that was left behind. Gack. I was annoyed, not at our greenhorn of a wine buyer, he had done his job and done it perfectly. No, it was the wines that had my face snarled and me scurrying to kill the leftover bits of “flavor” that clung to my palate like poo on my shoe. So here’s the thing, some people not only bought those wines, the “poo on my shoe” wines, they loved them. Even had one dude say, “After that Pinotage that was so lovely I found the Tannat harsh”…lovely? That Pinotage?! Say huh?

 That taste thing, well none of us has cornered the market on it, nor will we ever. Taste, be it in food, wine, music, writing, sex, talent…no one person is detached enough from their own, “taste” to be an all-knowing judge of what’s "the best". Oh, there are lots of asshats out there that will try and out huff the next, yelling louder and tossing about more stored factoids to prove what they know, asshats are like that but, they get it wrong just as much as they get right. Maybe not in the technical sense, facts is facts but…if I hated those wines, and those others loved them, who’s right? It is all so bloody subjective. And maybe I'm just a weirdo in that "the best" is never the first thing that pops into my mind, I want interesting, pure, honest and true. The more I thought about those wines that scrunchied my face, the more rotten I felt for being so judgmental about them. Thumbs down, glass down, 82 points, means nothing when there are people with a glass of something that speaks to them, a post that makes your heart pound, a fragile heart that gets splayed across the internet…hoping to find the right palate to fall upon. 

“The best” is measured only by what, who, the flavors that dig into you. As sad and deflated as I was earlier this week by this notion, I now find myself empowered by it. Me, my wines, even the stooped shit I do here, they will be judged by others, deemed “not good enough”…for whatever reason but, there are a few of you that get me, my wines, my waxing on wine and understand that behind this “Next Best Thing” face there is a heart, a woman, that wants nothing more than to please you….and I have to concede that others never will. I keep thinking about that gentleman that thought my much hated Pinotage was lovely, keep thinking and holding on to the fact that maybe, just maybe, someday, there will be someone that reads something here and says, “That was lovely” without the “But there might something better:”…. 

Next best or otherwise....

So to the "helpful" internet stalker/bully that keeps stuffing my email box for this blog I would like to say, Please go away. Go read all those other blogs that currently have the content you are seeking, the ones you keep sending me links and reviews of. I didn't read them before, won't be reading them now, nor will I be changing anything about what I do here to suit you or anyone else. Now kindly stay away and forcefully go fuck yourself. 
Thanks so much
Hugs and kisses


Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Yours is a unique voice in the wine blog world. Your take on wines, and your ability to communicate it, is profound, and has made the conversation about wines much more interesting. I think you're the best. Period.

This isn't your first "stalker," and it's unlikely to be your last. That's what Spam folders are for, and Delete buttons. Whoever he is (and it has to be a guy, a guy who thinks he can "fix" you), he's simply pathetic, not to mention lonely, cowardly and untalented. Just as you would actively avoid and reject Pinotage, you should do the same with him and his tiny little pinotage.

Behind your bravado and growl is the sweetest and kindest heart I've ever known. You willingly bare your soul here and in the process make all of us who read your work better humans. There's no link that can improve that. You're perfect. I am humbled by your talent and your compassion and your courage.

By the way, I hate Pinotage for the most part too. It's a cross between Pinot Noir and Death. Which is why it's a great match for road kill.

Let me say this one more time,

I love you and everything about you with all my heart.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Oh trust me, I've tried to rid myself of this asshole several times now. I started by being nice, even thanking him for giving a shit but after a few more emails I went ahead and blocked him. So guess what I get now? Well yesterday I got 9, 9 emails, all from different email accounts, telling me why everyone else is better than I am. I then tried to go back to the original email, unblock it so I could respond but that email was now no longer good, just as each of the 9 from yesterday were not. I hit reply and yahoo tells me that the email address is invalid. WTF?! So don't need this shit right now...ugh.
Oh and I love you too Ron.

ADoC said...

Don't let a chicken-shit stalker who can't even own his words to get to you, love. You ARE the best at what you do... which is being you. And that's what we all adore.

Thomas said...

If anything will get me to one day stop using the Internet it's the volume of spam and idiotic email that my filter deals with daily. Does not inspire faith in the human race at all.

John M. Kelly said...

Send me info. I have some hacker friends that will totally destroy this asswipe's life.

Hear that bud? Mess with Sam and there are people out here who will totally fuck your shit up. If she says go away, go. The. Fuck. Away.

marilyn said...

Why let one guy ruin your day when it is obvious so many others love you and your writing-all of it.

Samantha Dugan said...

Been ignoring it for the most part but's getting bad.

Maybe that's his goal, to get me to stop blogging all together and fuck, did those damn blog awards give the asshole some fuel. Ugh!

I love you.

Well the first 12 times or so it was pretty easy, just after complete bombardment and what now has sparked that creepy knot in my tummy which doesn't mix so good with Picpoul de Pinet and I just let lose. Wasn't just him but he way fucking added to the heap. Thanks for the support lady.

webb said...

Go,John! Send in the hacker storm troopers. We don't need this jerk messing with our Sam..

Girl, i totally know nothing about wine ... well, except that. I like drinking it. You teach me stuff and i constantly look for things you recommend so that i can experience your taste. Come do a week of Virginia wines. I'll take a week off and drive.

And ignore this idiot.

Samantha Dugan said...

Isn't he the best?! Loves me some John and at a time when my strength is being tested it is so wonderful to have someone like him in my court. As it is to have you! You might have just made my vacation plans for next year, a trip to VA to do some wine tasting....and I will so be calling YOU!

Oenophilosopher said...

A fartwater magnum.... I haven't laughed that hard in awhile.
Thank you for putting your words out there, even if someone else is better than you, to me they would still be just pinotage.

Samantha Dugan said...

Wow, you're a mouthful! Thank you so much for the sweet words, put a big ass grin on my mug this morning and for that gift I am quite grateful.