What is it that makes the wine mafia so disturbed by the popularity of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay or Cavit Pinot Grigio? Fortunately, we live in a free land where we are able to choose what we put down out gullets. I, for one, am happy that people are only now discovering the wines of Piedmont (selfishly so, since its obscurity kept the wines underpriced for decades). Now that the wines are discovered, I am thrilled for my favorite winemakers who are finally getting some of the recognition they so rightly deserve.
Unfortunately, belittling the wines that the majority of the country enjoys makes many of the wine mafia seem that much more important. It goes back to that bullying tendency, and within the wine mafia you can win badges for bullying unsuspecting wine lovers. I can show you the secret handshake too sometime, but don’t tell them it was me who showed you!
So, I’m sure you’re asking now -- what the hell was all this about, anyway? I am so looking forward to the pithy commentary by you in the know. You know who you are -- you tend to love to inform me that you wasted five minutes of your life reading an article I wrote called “Wine 101: The Basics,” but really needed to waste another two minutes letting me know that my “Wine 101: The Basics” article was way too basic for you. Maybe you should have spent that extra two minutes in front of the mirror, preening? But again I digress.
So, what the hell is this about? Well, simply put, it’s a call for tolerance, and a bit of empathy, and sympathy.
I have a theory. You see, I think that many people stick to their tried and true wines simply because wine snobs are such clowns. Yes, because of you there, you drinking the obscure biodynamic wines made by one-armed hermaphrodites on a deserted island made of a solid block of limestone using the fruit from a single 2,100-year-old vine. You’re keeping people from having the confidence to branch out. Stop equating cool with some universal notion of good.
So many people are such a turnoff at all levels of wine -- so intolerant of differing opinions, so condescendingly unsure of themselves that they make millions of people think better wine is only for snobs and sycophants. And make no mistake, by "better" I am not saying more expensive. We all know what “better wine” is. We may not be able to describe it (on second thought... ), but we sure do recognize it when we see it. Taste it, maybe not so much, but when we see it...
So, what can we do about it? Well, for starters, the snobs who fit the description could stop being such tools, but the chance of that happening on its own are pretty slim, so the rest of us will have to pick up some slack here.