Wine Fraud: critics, crowd-sourcing, comparison

May 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

Last week in the Portland Press Herald, I went polemical. Halfway through my column, I wrote:

Do not make comparisons. Do not grade anything. Do not assess movies. Do not compare children. Do not evaluate romantic conversations. Do not appraise sunsets. Do not organize your thoughts. Do not classify wines. Do not spend time with people who do any of those things.

The only salient criterion for wine is whether it’s true or false.

Like anything else, wine is either real or representation. That it’s so hard for us to discern the difference speaks only to our cultural confusion, our substitution of advertising for communication.

The signposts of our cultural decline (decried by name in the column, and I’m pretty sure on every other non-porn page on the Internet) are everywhere, and they’re so permeating and nigh-intractable that ya gotta start small. I’m going to start (and stay?) with wine. Maybe that will give me the armor to prepare for the larger war…

Modest proposals, to offend all wine pros and amateurs

March 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

This week in the Portland Press Herald, I dream. I dream of a land where point scores don’t run the business, where food/wine pairing walks are walked, where the customer isn’t always right, where the forest of true wine appreciation isn’t lost amidst the trees of “beverage industry” mutual masturbation, where waitstaff smarten up and self-conceived wine geeks dumb down, where a few more bottles each year are left unopened so they can grow at least into adolescence. Maybe some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one…

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