How To Be A Snob: Drinking Alcohol

Good rules for how to bullshit your way through wine tastings.

You can say anything. You think people taste oak in a wine? Fuck no. Who the hell eats oak? These fuckers want you to think they’re walking around taking bites out of dogwood trees so they can tell what kind of barrel the wine came from – they’re awful, awful fakers. And if they can tell you what country the oak came from, the first note you should mark in their aroma is a seething, overwhelming bullshit.

So fake away! But there are guidelines.

Snobby Wine

Eric Mortensen:

I snapped a pic of this wine listing because I found it so pretentious. Then I found another vintage online that is somehow even worse:

This wine defines the term elegance.

There’s more, but that opening is already pretty bad.

The Grocery Store and Wine Debate

The wine in grocery stores debate centers around choosing between protecting consumers and protecting industry.

This is why opponents of wine in grocery stores (most often liquor stores and wholesalers) prefer to argue the issue over the issue of the harm it would cause liquor store owners if consumers no longer were forced to enter a second store to get a bottle of wine with dinner. In a recent article about the effort to change the law in Tennessee, Josh Hammond, owner of Busters’ Liquors & Wines in Memphis and president of the Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association, made the case like this:

“Wine and spirits retailers will have to lay employees off and many will have to close. Where will the jobs come from? Certainly not the grocers. They’re not adding square footage or shelf space. They won’t need to hire one extra person.”

Here is what’s unquestionable: If a state changes its law to allow the sale of wine in grocery stores, consumers not only support the law, but they also benefit from the law. On the other hand, it is unquestionable that some people currently buying wine in liquor stores will, under a new law, choose to take their wine business to grocery stores.

What’s a law-maker to do?

The Price of Wine

Blind taste tests show most people can’t tell the difference between $10 and $100 bottles of wine. ~$10 bottles are sold based upon production and distribution costs. Get into the more expensive territory and it’s all about trying to get people to believe they are part of a very exclusive club that can not only taste the difference, but also afford it.

It’s very similar to the diamond trade and audiophile equipment.

Choice quote:

Owner Frank Franzia doesn’t bother with notions of terroir. All the wine is blended together, regardless of its origin. As of 2003, Bronco processed 300,000 tons of grapes to make 20 million cases of wine, of which a quarter are Charles Shaw wines. Asked how he sells wine for the same price as a bottle of water, Franzia responded, “They’re overcharging for the water. Don’t you get it?”

Related – I buy Yellow Tail all the time.

Pretentious Wine

Pretentious wine

This reads like an email spambot.

Not far from the town of Lecce and from the sea, on the road to Taranto, at the gates of Salice Salentino, centuries old olive trees and flourishing vineyards surround Castello Monaci. The long corridor, which links the main road to the castle, is a line which goes through the estate, a meridian which divides the vineyards and opens the gates to the modern cellar. Here spreads the sun which floods the land and creates unique shapes, like the fruits to which it gives birth.

Dude. Chill out. You’re just grapes that haven’t gone bad all the way yet.

“Stop buying expensive wine!”

Every subjective experience can be radically improved or ruined by our expectations. The question isn’t whether expectations figure into our individual tastes; it’s how big a role do they play, and how deep must we go once expectations are removed to reach bedrock truths about our likes and dislikes.

Related? The audiophile encoding ear tests.