Monday, May 14, 2007

In Defense of Wine Seriousness

A lot of people (including some I care about greatly) are turned off by what they view as pretentious wine writing. I think they see it as arrogant, exclusivist, and overly fastidious in a way that sucks all the fun and enjoyment out of wine. To a large extent, they have a point. Wine is something to be shared and appreciated with friends, and pointlessly formal talk that pushes people away is totally contrary to the reasons both Simon and I are into wine.

At the same time, I think that it’s possible to enjoy wine much more if you approach it as a subject of exploration. Sharing wine with your friends is enormously enhanced by the ability to talk about it together, to discuss it together, "trying however imperfectly to describe in words the sensations in the glass" and share that with others, as Simon says over gmail chat. That’s the way to really come to appreciate wine. There’s a happy middle ground here between a pompous and empty focus on detailed trivialities and a desire to appreciate and know about what you’re drinking. Every wine has a story--and finding the good stories is usually a damn good way to find good wine.

That’s what Simon and I are trying to do here. But if you just want to drink and appreciate a good bottle, we have no problem with that.


Anonymous said...

"we have no problem with that" --
how generous of you! So glad to hear you approve, I'll be drinking with an easier conscience now.

phil from new york said...

Hi guys,

I found my way here via Matt. I like what I see, and I agree with what you say about making wine fun without being pretentious. To me, it's an exploration and a journey to find great value. It's also a way to connect with other parts of the world and the people of the region where the wine was made. I look forward to much pleasurable reading from you guys. Cheers!