Thursday, January 01, 2009

"I Dunno! Tastes Pretty Good To Me!"

The first installment of Tri-Brother's Christmas present arrived yesterday: a year's subscription to Wine Spectator magazine.  Very cool!  I spent part of today putting the present to good use, educating myself on the world's Top 100 wines and "delicious" Pinot Noirs to buy RIGHT NOW!

And as much as I love WS, it also reminds me of what's infuriating about the world of wine.  What I love is, well, drinking wine.  I'm sorta like Thomas Hayden Church's character in "Sideways", always responding to Paul Giamatti's prissy sniffing, swirling and spitting with a hearty " when do we drink?"  

What I hate is the opaque twaddle passing for wine-related journalism.  Here, for example, are descriptions of tannins in some newly-released Cabernet Sauvignons:
  • Ripe, chewy tannins.
  • Still fairly tannic at this stage...
  • ...tight-knit tannins.
  • ...tight cloak of tannins...
  • ...quite tannic now.
  • ...chewy tannins.
  • ...firm, integrated tannins.
  • ...ends with drying tannins.
  • ...herb - and sage-laced tannins.
  • ...the tannins flex their muscles...
So if you could actually find any of these wines (which you almost assuredly CANNOT) you're left choosing between tight-knit or firm or chewy or drying or herb-laced or muscle-flexing.  I dunno.  Sounds more like a Gay Pride parade to me.

A modest suggestion: read the reviews and take 'em with you to a good wine store.  There, select several of the world's wine-making regions (Napa, Loire Valley, Tuscany, etc.) and 1-2 varietals from each, buy several, go home and DRINK THEM!  At worst, you'll learn something important about your likes and dislikes.  Buy some different wines, drink, repeat.

I've sampled two of the so-called Top 100 wines.  One I found mediocre; the other was wretched.  I've no idea how they made the list, but they wouldn't make MINE. And since it's MY money I'm spending, there's only one list that really counts! Reviews are helpful for most of us.  They're necessary only for the weak-minded and terminally indecisive.  I know that's not you cuz, if it was, this blog woulda sent you around the bend years ago.

And now you'll have to excuse me.  There's 98 more wines to critique...if I can find 'em.  Well, why not?  It's a long, cold winter!  And I'll write my own damn reviews, thank you very much! 


(The full disclosure fine print:  Tri-Mother still drinks white Zinfandel.  Blech!)

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