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

« Not Done Yet | Main | Harkamp Has It »

19 June 2006

Who Loves Ya Baby?

Don’t lie, you know exactly who they are...the wine geek or the foodie that completely gets your goat. It’s a tough one to admit because on some level, we are all wine geeks and/or foodies. We get giddy whenever we’re able to secure those last couple of bottles of some boutique wine that completely turned us on. We tote our own glassware with us to BYOs. We may even equate certain meals we’ve had with the likes of a sexual encounter or take a photograph of a dish that strikes us as food porn. But then there are those who step off the deep end and force the rest of us to bow and shake our heads in shame...well, either that or raise and shake our heads in laughter. I’m sure there are many more than I can name here (feel free to chime in) but here are a few of those that give geekdom a bad name.

THE NAME DROPPER - It happens in many circles, not just the wine world, but it doesn’t make it any less entertaining. Instead of dropping the name of all the celebrities they’ve met or such, they spend an evening at the dinner table recounting their last trip to _____ (insert famous wine region) and how they were miraculously able to secure a private vertical tasting with ______ (insert famous winemaker). And you feign interest, enthusiasm and envy as they drone on, all the time silently wishing you hadn’t bothered to ask how their vacation went.

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA - You see the name meritage for the first time and mistakingly pronounce it “me-ri-tahj”...a common mistake given that you’ve already heard of hermitage and pinotage. You also happen to do it in front of others and amidst those “others” is the encyclopedia that feels compelled to correct you right then and there. “Oh, you must mean ‘me-ri-tij’. It actually got its name from combining the words ‘merit’ and ‘heritage’...yadda, yadda, yadda.” And not only are you really pissed off that they felt the need to show off in a crowd, but you’re also wondering why the hell a group of folks would purposely choose to give a wine a name so incredibly similar to other, long-existing wine names and yet giggle under their breath when you pronounce it like those other, long-existing wine names. Tell ya what, you say “me-ri-tij” I say “me-ri-tahj”...let’s call the whole thing off.

THE CULT COLLECTOR – I’ve touched on this one before, but it’s too damned good not to mention it twice. The conversation almost always begins with “Oh, come here, you’ve gotta see what I picked up at the auction last week.” And you unavoidably get dragged down to the cellar where they dance over to a case of Cult Wine ABC, pull out a bottle and present it to you as if you were laying eyes on the Holy Grail for the first time. “Awesome! When will that be peaking?” you ask. “Peaking? I don’t know man, I’m never going to drink this! This is the find of finds…you know how much I paid for this?!? I want this to be around for my grandkids to inherit one day.” And you think, drink the wine and save the bottle! Because once you’re six feet under, you know damned well that one of those unknowing grandkids is going to stuff their “inheritance” in the trunk of their car on a hot July day and forget to bring it into the house for two weeks.

THE IMPORT LOVER – Ever tasted an Asian pear, a Haitian mango, or a Malaysian papaya? They’re delicious…they really are…if you happen to be standing in a farmer’s market in Japan, Haiti or Malaysia. But the import lover wants that hard-to-find produce and doesn’t understand that the papaya has been genetically modified so that it doesn’t ripen too rapidly and spoil on its trip here from Malaysia. Mmmmmmm, genetically modified papaya (insert a Homer Simpson drool). Nor do they know that those mangoes are getting picked green (like tomatoes), and being sprayed with ethylene gas while in transit in order to “ripen.” Sure it produces a ripe-LOOKING fruit, but I prefer my tomato sun-ripened, with ethylene gas on the SIDE please. I had an import lover slice up a mango for me once that they raved was the best to be had, and after biting into it I had to smile gratefully and nod in agreement that it was, indeed, a great mango. And the whole time I’m thinking…I’ve climbed mango trees with my cousins in Florida, and then sat in the mangrove tearing one open as its juices ran down my arms….and somehow a bland, chemically treated (albeit “imported”) mango ain’t holding up to that memory.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Who Loves Ya Baby?:



By the way did I tell you I have just been to Italy? Oh yes indeed, helicopter ride blah blah dinner with the owner blah full tastings of everything they produce blah blah blah


Beau, I LOVE this blog. For one, I am not a master sommelier but deal with a niche that most folks completely ignore (but you don't, gladly)--Iberian wine. So I'll forgive those that come into Spanish Table without a clue asking for a Merlot or a Cab that suits whatever brand of Merlot or Cab they normally gulp down at home.

The worst are those that throw down a deluge of expensive wine tasting experiences, mostly cult French or WA or CA wines complete with vintage, & they want to find something Spanish maybe, that will live up to these beloved bottles. Good night!

For one, it means little to me although I can sense where they're going & usually point them towards the "rack crusher" that got 96 points from Parker. The point thing drives me crazy, but maybe people get a kick out of believing they have critic's palate. Once in awhile, RP champions something like little old Sierra Cantabria Crianza '01, but it's Tanzer who's up for the old & new making him a more reliable source in my opinion.

But take a wine tasting I did a few months ago (I might get in trouble for this)... There were three tables of Spanish Table customers & one who'd read about the dinner through the Mark Squires board. Throughout the evening, I would check in with the different tables & everyone loved the wine, ordered a bunch, but the Parker crowd found fault with nearly every wine.

They regaled me with stories of their last Clos Erasmus (nearly 10x the price of what we were tasting), etc., stating the wines were over-oaked or oxidized. By the end of the night, none of the Span Tab regulars who happened to be at that table bought wine as they were convinced they were all flawed. Ah, the power of suggestion.

Anyway, that's my rant. Thanks for tapping a nerve! I'm going to enjoy the Melipal Malbec Rose that my wine tasting group panned last night in favor of the Frenchies. To each their own I suppose.


Hey there Ms. Proust....thanks for the response, but actually, Beau didn't write this piece...I did. If you look at the end of the article, it says "posted by WhistlingWench". I guess Beau and I will have to figure out a way to make it more obvious that the piece was written by someone else. Nonetheless, thanks so much for posting...glad I could tap a nerve for ya!

The comments to this entry are closed.

site sponsors

Vino Voyeur