or How I Stopped Worrying
and Love the Alcohol
May 20, 2008
Sell my cellar. It contains wines from Europe and those scant few from Cali that are under 14 percent that I thought I once loved so much. (Note to Darrel Corti: Don’t think ill of me when I don’t buy any of the wines in your Sacramento shop.)
From now on or until my back gives out again, I promise I’ll stand up when I have a glass of wine in my hand (well over 15 percent, of course); and I’ll go to the medical supply store where I’ll purchase a sling so that my elbow won’t get arthritis.
No more food and wine pairing: Toward that end, I will give up caring about what food goes with what wine, forever and ever, I’ve come to realize that that’s so retro, so 20th century, as they say. As value added, the pressure about making that perfect wine and food match, is off.
(Come to think of it, thinking about wine and food makes my stomach queasy. I’d better pick up some antacid at the medical supply store, too.)
I’ll stop drinking white wine. Where’s the value in that? Except for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, which are so damned hip, white wine doesn’t pack a punch (see: Every sports harangue and every political reference to the word “elite” ever uttered.) Compared to a big, beautiful, sexy red, white wine is a waste of calories and my time.
High alcohol for me: When I go into the corner wine bar next to the corner coffee joint that’s next to the corner cupcake cupboard, I’ll only order the wine with the highest alcohol content on the label. (If you’re ever in San Fran, you’ve gotta go to Pier 23 on the Embarcadero. It’s a biker (friendly) burger place that actually lists its wines by alcohol content. When I asked the pretty pierced, girl (that’s what they call them these days, “girls”) with the big tats which wine sells the best, guess what she told me?
I’m now intent on drinking my wine now. Not tomorrow. Not in two years. Not in 10. I want it now and I want it ASAP. The only thing I’m puttin’ down from now on are guys like me and my foot (which has a bunion, which means a trip to the Big Toe Joint joint on the corner.)
I’ll discard my Randy Dunn star winemaker card. With his ubiquitous 10-gallon Stetson (or is it a 37.8541178-liter Stetson?), Dunn is done, to my new way of thinking. He’s dead to me. What audacity, what cojones to set out to make wines under 14 percent. (Did you see my interview with him, “Higher alcohol wines should stop” (July 27, 2007), in which he lied and told me he actually once made a wine that was just over the Maginot line?) I’ll bet Dunn’s pantalones are on fire, if not his wines.
When I make wine, which will be any decade now, I swear I’ll take it to those fix-it shops to make it better. You know the places (seemingly on every corner these days) that take things out, put things in, and turn it all about. Who the hell wants a wine that stinks like a barnyard (which is just a euphemism for you know what), or be earthy, mineral-y, or gravel-y? If I wanted dirt, I’d watch The View and/or Fox Snooze.
You’ve told me over and over again that there’s plenty of different kinds of wines in the world to satisfy anyone and that I should get a grip. Well, I’m holdin’ on for dear life here. So much so that my gnarly knuckles (arthritis settin’ in?) have turned white (from drinking too much white wine, no doubt). But soon there won’t be enough wine for the likes of me, you know, those of us who once liked our wines made with nuance and complexity. But how soon I regress. I’m so over that now.
Finally, I pledge to you, my cranky readers (who I hope will stop being touchy after they read this), that I’ll go to Canyon Ranch or some other ranch (dude?) to get my life in balance. Goodness knows my new-found wines aren’t. But I know that one person’s balanced wine is another human’s unstable wine, due no doubt to middle-ear problems. Or taste. And we all know that taste is subjective. It’s just that I’m more subjective than others, which I know has something to do with gettin’ old in the mouth, as well as in the cabeza.
So, I raise a glass to you, the Millennials, the Thirty Somethings, the next generation, or whatever the hell you call yourselves these days. I’m really, really glad you’re drinking wine. (I mean that, jokin’ aside.) It’s just that I wish you’d see it my way. But what the hell do I know?