My Photo

search the juice

January 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    


  • Food & Drink Blog Top Sites

« Steal This Article | Main | BJI: "Oh, Hell No" Edition »

19 April 2006

The Eagle and The Kangaroo

Eagleroo Occasionally I experience a eureka! moment when reading blog posts.  Yesterday I experienced an e!-moment whilst perusing the comments to The Caveman's piece, "The Recipe for Great Winemaking."  Commenter Ann of A Chicken in Every Granny Cart (and really, when you think about it, shouldn't every granny have a cart containing poultry of some kind?), offered this gem in response to mine & Bill's concern about the homogenization of wine via Parker-point flavor maximizing algorithms:

"..there's a system like this in the pop music world, where a record label can pay this dude a ton of money and he'll run all the songs on an album against an alogrithm and tell the label which song will be the most popular i know a lot of labels use this service because sometimes the song that hews closest to the algorithm isn't in fact the most obvious one does this make pop music better? worse?  does it matter?

because, with the proliferation of myspace and the resurgence of indie bands and labels, its still possible to find music that isn't factory generated crap i can't believe i'm saying this, but i don't think this parker-rithm will kill wine, as long as there's people like us out there that prefer slow wine to yellow tail."

Out of the mouths of Granny Cart bloggers..  I think Ann makes a tremendous point here.  The hallmark of popmusic is mass appeal.  Listening to a pop diddy is like chewing a big pink bubble gumball.  It's great for a few minutes, but then becomes tiresome and bland.  'Pop' wine is quite similar:  It's approachable, easily-likable but doesn't offer much depth.  After glass number one, my palate gets bored.  So what?  Just as in music, there will always be alternatives to pop wine.  Call them indie wine or slow wine.

But here's where I get confused.  If you re-read the previous paragraphs, you'll see that pop wine is conflated into sycophant wine (wine aimed at the palates of R. Parker and J. Laube).  Are these two similar on some level?  Is Yellow Tail Cabernet simply a cheap knock-off of Screaming Eagle?

Perhaps there's a reasonable explanation.  What if the palates of Big Wine Rob and Jim Dandy are, in fact, representative of most Americans' palates?  Many of us were raised surrounded by Twinkies, Hi-C and Mountain Dew.  Do we then prefer our wine to more closely resemble Coke rather than Clos de Vougeot? As such, then perhaps Yellow Tail is the low rent expression of this palate preference; while Screaming Eagle is the 'grand royale' essence of the public's Red No.3-loving palates.

This is something I'll have to think more about.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Eagle and The Kangaroo:



My disdain for those who would use such a system as Enologics is simply that. I guess the diff between the two (wine and music) is that the band had already produced the disk and Anne's comment is about picking the most sellable track... Constructing a wine to be something for someone is a different story... Insofar as where American Palettes are, you are in a much betyter position that me to comment (but they do seem to love their cali)..Maybe when we are rich and famous we can get McCloskey to make our wine... the Bibeau special cuvée (we can have one of those caps that play tunes when you unscrew it)


Actually, there are 'hired gun' songwriters who are paid to write pop songs according to the supposed hit formula. apparently Ms. Paris Hilton has hired one for her upcoming "album."

Insofar as Cali Cult Cab is concerned, I think it's a combination of the New Fashioned American *values* of: size (big flavor, must be better), expense (it costs $1000 so it has to be good) and prestige (all my friends are going to think I'm a badass when I show them this bottle).


"...perhaps Yellow Tail is the low rent expression of this palate preference; while Screaming Eagle is the 'grand royale' essence of the public's Red No.3-loving palates."

I think you're right on here. I'm thinking in terms of grilled cheese (mostly because I'm hungry). Yellow Tail's your Wonder Bread sandwich made with individually wrapped Kraft slices, and the Screaming Eagle's your gruyere on brioche. Anyway you slice it, it's grilled cheese, one's just a little more gussied up and expensive than the other. I like grilled cheese. What red-blooded American doesn't? But man cannot survive on grilled cheese alone.

So Ann's probably right (God bless her and her excellent post): "this parker-rithm" probably won't kill wine.


wow, if I'd known people were actually going to read that comment, I would have been more careful with my punctuation!
thanks for the shoutout Beau!
oh, and someone told me once that the animal on the label of yellow tail isn't actually a kangaroo, its actually something called a wallaroo, go figure


Ann -
She's right. It won't kill wine, but it just might scar a lot of taste buds!

The comments to this entry are closed.

site sponsors

Vino Voyeur