On Wine. A tragedy.
Ryan Opaz

BRAVO!! I’ve written this and preached it and hammered on it for a solid twenty years and several times annually since I started writing The Pour Fool. The cliche of the snotty wine shop steward or the restauranr sommelier or your “wine savvy” friend who judges you on your wine choices is NOT, and never was, erudition. It was and is RUDENESS. All that stuff that we wine weenies obsess about — terroir, VA, chaptalization, trellising, barreling, appelations, etc. etc. — is all fine for people who enjoy wonkiness. There’s not a thing wrong with learning the finer points of winemaking or wine appreciation. When it becomes wrong is when it’s used to make others feel bad about their choices. I’ve watched — and often intervened, because I’m a cranky old SOB — as wine “experts” belabored some hapless sap with why they’re choosing “the wrong wine”. I watched a wine shop clerk in Seattle badger (literally) a guy into buying a bottle of Gigondas for his father’s birthday, AFTER the customer has specifically said his dad didn’t like Syrah. He was looking for a nice California Cab but the steward wasn’t having that, either. He sniffily dismissed CA Cabernet and said he’d be glad to show the guy a Walla Walla bottle that would be “FAR superior”. I bought a bottle of Darioush Cab and waited until the befuddled guy was finished paying for his Domaine le Pallieres Gigondas and then, in front of the sales guy, traded bottles with him. I enjoyed the Palliers because I like the Bruniers. The guy’s dad probably wouldn’t have.

Brother, call BS on this nonsense. Keep on doing it. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A WRONG WINE AND PRICE DOES NOT, IN ANY WAY, EQUATE TO QUALITY. SHAME on all of us who profess to love wine and then make it a horrid experience for people who are just coming to that realization. I plan to pass this link along on my FB and Twitter pages and use it as the valuable tool it absolutely is. THANK YOU, Ryan, for helping us bust that stupid stereotype.

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