Friday, October 28, 2011

Why I can never be a wine snot...

So, I should start out by stating my love for Sunset Magazine. It goes way back to when they were still Lane Publishing, and it was the magazine for Western Living. Back in my life as a sales rep, I used to call on their Creative Services Department and if the kitchen gods were smiling, there would be amazing treats from the test kitchen across the street, placed out for all to sample. Back in the day, they had a really cool tradition; the staff all took mandatory breaks at the same time. It was like recess-  at the designated time; everyone would stop work, go outside, have treat, and socialize. Besides having a beautiful facility in Menlo Park, the folks who worked there were really nice. I couldn't say that about everyone I called on, especially some of the ad agency types that wore nothing but black and always took themselves way too seriously. But none of that is the point. The point is that ever since Sunset did a feature about Paonia, CO (seriously, I'm not making this up-look!)
I read it cover-to-cover to make sure I don't miss something really fun and fascinating. So while I was waiting for the house to warm up the other day, the latest copy of Sunset and I stayed in bed for an extra hour. It was a good read. It included:
Thanksgiving feature: Maybe. Read it later. In the kitchen.
Mountain Weekend in Glenwood Springs:  Sounds good. Check it out.
Vegan side dishes: Ick. Skip that one.
Idea Houses: So cool. Major Lust over the pretty, pretty pictures.
Sunset Wine Awards: Interesting. Wait a minute. What's up with these descriptions? OK...I've done my  time in the Napa Valley, and here in the North Fork Valley we have some pretty impressive wineries,
(check out West Elks AVA) but the Sunset Western Wine Awards made me laugh out loud. And ask myself the serious questions,  Do I really want a wine that lurks? Or one that has haunting layers? I'm not sure I like haunting and lurking.
I'm also not sure that I want to spend 44 bucks on a Chardonnay that is touched with crushed rock.
In my mind, I don't want to taste traces of stuff I might be tracking in on the bottom of my shoes. I'm also not sure I want minerality (we get enough in the tap water here) or saddle leather ( exactly whose ass has been in that saddle?) or English Leather (like the cologne? No thanks) For $65, one can select a Pinot Noir that includes waves of earthy tobacco smoke, or cough up $75 for a Syrah that has hints of Dr. Pepper. Would that be Diet Dr. Pepper or the retro kind with real sugar? I know a vending machine outside the City Market where you can get more than a hint of Dr. Pepper for 75 cents. How do you feel about forest floor, wet stones, bacon or cured meat in general? If you don't recognize the inkyness of the blend, is life really worth living? Yeah, yeah, yeah...I'm pedestrian. I'm an amateur. If this gets out, I'll never get to go to another wine club meeting...but here's the thing- I can enjoy a good glass of wine without it needing to sound like it should have its own Facebook page, and I'm not tempted by descriptors that would more closely suit one's profile on (Supple, lively, plush, vibrant and sassy) Wait...I'd date that wine. No, I want to BE that wine.
I've been thinking that maybe I can create marketing material for some of the out of the way wineries. I'll just scrape the crap off my boots, look in the woodpile, check the bottom of the fridge- or maybe under the sofa cushions for inspiration. How do you feel about potting soil,  Camel butts, wilted celery, Oreo crumbs and cat hair?  Mmmmm. Let's open that one tonight.


  1. Good post! I hardly drink but had a bit of scotch on the rocks. It wasn't all that tasty.

  2. Hey Fly- thanks! I wonder...
    Did you pick up the aroma of saddle leather or forest floor in that scotch?