Thursday, August 5, 2010
JOY or Something Like It
A dear friend recently completed a two day seminar in Washington D.C. where he was surrounded by some of the most famous names in the wine "pundit" industry. I use the word pundit here because these are the people who are the "word up" in the wine biz. These are the folks who have the alphabet soup behind their names, CWE, CMW and even BMF (consult street dictionary) His only comment, more of a lament, was that the JOY was fast disappearing from the wine BIZ. Now we all know and we have known for a long time that wine is BIG BUSINESS. A few billion dollars a year. Truth is a rare thing when you deal with a billion dollars. If ANYONE tells you that it isn't the money, they lie. The smallest winery, the most tiniest distributor dreams of the day that they have four feet in the wine dpt. at the big box stores. Business is indeed business. If you are told otherwise it ain't true no matter how touchy-feely organic local sulfite free plant at the moon they say they are they want to feed their families and buy a home or keep up that Prius. But, I digress.
I agree. Where is the JOY? Is it hidden in the bio-dynamic moonlight? Is it in the volumes of print, internet, signs , neons, big box store sales, small wine shop "Exclusives"? Don't bet on it. It is within you and me. That's it! LOVE WINE AS YOU LOVE YOUR LIFE!! It is the stuff of romance. It is the fuel of dreams. It is the communion of the Saints. It is the ultimate companion to friendship and the vitality of the human condition. It is not a powerpoint presentation in a dark room. It is not an overpaid lackey who happens to test well's musings. It is "The stuff that dreams are made of" (apologies to Dash Hammett) It is above all a free choice and in this day and time that is becoming a rarity. Wine is not anything but old grape juice. It's YOUR choice whose you choose. All I ask is have fun. Drink a 1985 Napa Cabernet by the pool in August. Put a bloomin ice cube in your Pinot Noir. Squeeze a lime into your Mersault . Revel in the history of the wine. Don't be caught in the rating trap.
Listen, I have had the ultimate luck to hang with the founders of The American Wine Industry. John Parducci, Dr. George Thoukis, Robert Mondavi, Jan Schrem, Ron Lachini and others. What do they all have in common? The JOY of wine for what it is, not for what it is marketed to be. It is for friends on the patio at sunset. It is for a gathering at a favorite bistro. It is for a celebration of life. It is for the human experience in sorrow or in happiness. It is for JOY. Never lose sight of it.
Carpe Vino danthewineman