Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mellowing In My Old Age

So, it turns out I do regret an earlier post. Not for the reason I thought I might, but still--I am regretting. Here's the gist of the post: I told food and wine writers to strip down their writing. Okay, that's not exactly what I said. Exactly what I said was...wait...Go back and read, slacker. Man. You give an inch...

But in any case, I was kind of overworked about overuse of certain words in food writing, and I vented, and my concern is that I overstated my case. My concern, such as it is, arose the other night, when I opened three bottles of red wine for a dinner party. I won't dither about the where-from and when of them, but they all had similar, yet slightly variant descriptions. Yes, dear reader(s), I based my buys on the ad copy. Well, you can't blame me--I bought at Bristol Farms, where, when I asked the oen guy for some help, he walked directly to the Super-Tuscans and said "How does $70 sound?" Needless to say, he didn't want to help me anymore when I told him how it sounded. And so I was stuck with what I knew and the labels. And all the labels read something like:

"Ripe, jammy red fruit with hints of smoke, leather and a touch of oak."

Not all the labels in Bristol Farms read like that--just the 3 bottles' that I bought. We were serving lamb racks, and that seemed the ticket to me. And they were all from the same year and similar environs, just to head off that line of later questions.

Well, you guessed it--the 3 bottles could not have been more different. One was like my Uncle Lou, who, after every Passover dinner, would open the top button on his pants and say something like "Oyyy, if I ate another bite, I woulda explotet." This was a wine that you smelled the second you opened it--no need to swirl and inhale--it just leached right out of the bottle and into your nose. A wine forthright, soft and ingratiating, but one that will slap you on the back of your head when you're walking to the kitchen. The fruits I got were dark, not red, and the smoke was totally absent, in favor of earth. And people agreed with me, so don't try the "everyone's palate is different" shit with me.

Number two of the red, jammy fruit with Marlboro-Man-like qualities. Oh, and before I go on, yes, I tried each of these at similar points in the meal, too, so please let's not talk about what food and chemistry can do in a mouth. Number two was like eating a steak itself. Bloody, metallic, austere, silky smooth and haunting. If wine were guys, this wine and Uncle Lou would not get along at all. This wine would not bowl. This wine would not sit down at polite gatherings, preferring to stand and make everyone nervous. And every chick at the party would want to fuck this wine. I went to high school with this wine, and its name was Keith Wa. I'm serious: this guy I went to high school with was like the rawest, tattooedest, head-shav-ed-est badass I've ever seen--like this guy is definitely dead now--but he just drew women to him. That was this wine. The fruit? THERE WAS NO FRUIT IN THIS WINE. This entire wine was, I swear to god, mashed from live animals. If there had to be a fruit in there, let's make it, oh, I don't know, quail. "Ripe, jammy red fruit?" Sure, sure. Well, it made me buy the bottle anyway.

Moving on to number three. Number three. Man, speaking of high school, if I kicked number three's ass once while waiting for the bus to take us skiing, I kicked it a hundred times. Number three was Wayne LaPointe. Number three was this loud-mouthed little snot of a wine that just bleats at you until you put it in a headlock and pummel it. Okay, it was junior high. This wine has jammy red fruit all right. It has so much of it that you want to kick its goddamn ass. It's like it comes up to you on the first sip and yells at you like Gilbert Gottfried "I'VEGOTJAMMYREDFRUITI'VEGOTJAMMYREDFRUITI'VEGOTJAMMYREDFRUITI'VE--" and then down it goes when you sock it in the gut. Annoying wine in the extreme. Wayne, if you're reading this, I live in L.A., and will totally fight you behind my office anytime, just not on Sunday because I have a private yoga session at 11:30 and that cuts the day in half for me.

My point is that you wine label guys have to get re-acquainted with your words. I know I screeded about overused words. I know, and I'm sorry. It must have made you really skittish and now I'm the one paying for it (not $70 a bottle, but still). So use your words. Learn to communicate what you're experiencing--really--to your reader with just a little 1-1/2 X 3 inch label to do it. You know you wanted to be an artist when you were younger; well, here's your chance. Tell me what your wine is like. Tell me what it's really like. And feel free to use any of the forbidden words. Just use them well. I'm watching.


Blogger dwg said...

oh, that's just great. my blog has been targeted by viagra spammers. all i need now is for one of them to be nominated for chief justice.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous sarah said...


i keep getting those focking spammer, too. drogas i ne'er e'en hearda! fock! like what the fock is trystatin? thry this, a holes!

ok. sorry, had to get that out.

and you just made me choke on my DC about the last wine. LOL!

1:20 PM  
Blogger MEalCentric said...

forget more detailed explainations, they should give free samples. A sip is worth a thoasand words!

8:53 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home