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A rant on B.S. wine “reporting”

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I Googled “wine news” and here among the hits were these scintillating headlines:

Expert reveals 3 things you need to know about drinking wine on planes

Never spill your wine again with the __ wine glass and its metal stake

Eva Longoria’s wine goals for T-shirt designs

Delta pays a sommelier to pick wine for its flights—here’s her wine tasting advice

Extreme heat can taint the wine

Does the color of your wine influence your hangover?

Pour It Up! 9 Times a Glass of Wine Was Rihanna’s Favorite Accessory!

Well, I admit to being terribly behind the curve on cultural issues. Yesterday, a Facebook friend referred to something called “Ween,” and it wasn’t until I asked what a “Ween” was that I became educated in the fact that Ween is a major rock and roll band I had never heard of!

So perhaps there are burning wine-related issues of which I’m equally unconscious. But I don’t think so, which makes me regret all the more the vulgarity that has invaded what has now become “wine writing.”

Throughout the history of the English-speaking people writing about wine was reserved to the smartest, most literate among us. Wine—the beverage of our ancient Greek texts, and of the Bible, Old and New Testaments—was regarded as something too special to make light of. Generations of wine writers going back hundreds of years, of which I consider myself a recent incarnation, reserved their finest journalistic skills to writing about wine. Today, the Internet has made writing about wine not only common but promiscuous, with the result that people can headline their writing with the kinds of B.S. I listed above, and actually get others to read it.

Do we need tips on how to drink wine on planes? I don’t think so. You have to take the wine the airline is selling, and drink it from the glasses they give you. What other choices do you have? When there are no choices, there’s no need for advice, which doesn’t stop some people from offering it anyway. Next!

“Never spill your wine again.” I wasn’t aware that spilling wine was a major issue in America. I almost never spill my own wine, and as I am not a particularly well-coordinated person, I doubt that there are many people who spill their wine more than I do. So I have absolutely no need for any device or technique to prevent me from doing so. Next!

Eva Longoria and T-shirt designs. I barely know who Eva Longoria is, nor do I care. Since I don’t care about her, I certainly don’t care about whatever chotchkies she’s selling. Next!

Delta’s sommelier. Well, isn’t that special. It makes me feel so much more hopeful about my next Delta sardine can. Next!

I did not know that extreme heat can taint a wine. I thought you could heat wine up to, oh, I don’t know, a gazillion degrees, and it would be as fresh as a can of tuna fish. Thank you for that advice. Next!

Does the color of your wine influence your hangover? Now we’re getting down to matters of substance! I’ve been trying to figure this particular question out for decades, and after extensive personal experimentation, still haven’t arrived at a conclusion. My advice: Don’t be a schmuck to begin with and drink so much that you risk getting a hangover the next morning.

As for Rihanna’s favorite accessory, I’m already choking, as are you, on this celebrity-forced-fed diet we’re being fed by the media. Next! (Or not.)

Have a great weekend!

  1. Steve,
    I think the results of your Google search portend great things for the wine industry – we are becoming a normal part of American culture! For so long wine has sat upon its laurels at the top of the mountain yet asking that everyone enjoy it – being unattainable and attainable at the same time is a challenge to say the least! So, the fact that wine writing covers topics of airlines and wine, fashion (t-shirts instead of ball gowns) and other topics that would have seemed trite 25 years ago is great news! Let us hope that wine continues to become an increasing part of the everyday American vernacular and that we as an industry embrace that everyone should be able to access, enjoy, read about and write about wine as a part of our lives!

  2. John Logan says:

    “Delta pays a sommelier to pick wine for its flights—here’s her wine tasting advice”

    Did you know that the Somm they hired was Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robertson? Do you think she is BS?

  3. Camron – there is truth in what you say. I just wish we could find a balance between the “top of the mountain” elitism, and the vulgarity and triteness of this celebrity culture that has taken over the news.

  4. Pretty sure this article could have been condensed to a single sentence of: “Hey kids, get off my lawn.”

  5. Funny Steve, and you can’t make this stuff up!
    You should have posted this last week during the 9th annual Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi! Next year is in Sonoma. See you there?
    Carl

  6. Dear Carl Giavanti, I doubt very much if I’ll ever be at another Wine Bloggers Conference. But thanks for your well wishes!

  7. Bob Henry says:

    “Throughout the history of the English-speaking people writing about wine was reserved to the smartest, most literate among us. . . .”

    There is this socio-economic consideration: only the upper class drank fine wine throughout the arc of history.

    And the upper class were the best educated (smartest) and most literate in society.

    “‘Never spill your wine again.’ I wasn’t aware that spilling wine was a major issue in America. I almost never spill my own wine, and as I am not a particularly well-coordinated person, I doubt that there are many people who spill their wine more than I do. So I have absolutely no need for any device or technique to prevent me from doing so.”

    Wine Enthusiast magazine used to sell through its mail order wine accessories catalog the Riedel “Tyrol” series wine glasses.

    A stemless design with a heavy flat bottom base and low center of gravity, they were used on the Orient Express to resist sliding across tabletops from the swaying motion of the train.

    http://www.wineenthusiast.com/powerreviewsdata/pwr/product-reviews/Glassware/Wine-Glasses/Riedel/p/21041-Riedel-Tyrol-Cabernet-Wine-Glasses-Set-of-2.html

  8. Why should wine reporting be immune to the deterioration of all reporting on any topic?

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