Do I contradict myself ?
Very well then I contradict myself.
(I am large, I contain multitudes.) – Walt Whitman
You can call me a hypocrite if you’d like. I don’t care. Anyway, rules are made to be broken. At least that’s what the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts taught me.
For the past several years whenever friends or family members, or for that matter complete strangers, would say to me something along the lines of, “Oh, I don’t like [name the grape],” my response was always, “well, you might not like the particular wines you’ve tried, but the world is filled with a million different kinds of [name the grape]. I’ll bet there’s one out there that will completely change your mind.”
In other words, don’t condemn an entire variety or region simply because you had bad luck with a wine or two. That’s been my dogma, and one I was not shy about “sharing” with anybody who pushed that particular button. Never pass up a good chance to pontificate, right?
Well, that ship has sailed. Game over. Ain’t no turning back. If you don’t think you like a grape variety or style of wine, I say good for you. Move on. Life’s too short. There are plenty of other grapes to fall in love with. I no longer have any interest in evangelizing for any particular berry flavor. Not my job.
What spurred this Damascene moment? Nothing too dramatic, no actual lightning bolts or celestial intervention. Just a few sips of a well made gewürztraminer, after which I decided, well, that’s it for this grape. No more. Nada. Done.
I’ve swilled the cheap, sweet, and poorly made plonks, and I’ve sipped the samplings from some very good producers. And I’ve decided, finally, that I just don’t like the stuff. One man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that rot.
I can already hear some of you licking your spittle-whitened gobs, ready to pounce and tell me just how wrong I am. “Oh, but you’ve never had Bob’s gewurz. It’s simply divine,” or, “You know, in Alsace blah blah blah, it’s more about blah blah blah.” Enough. Save your breath. The big G is no longer in my crayon box. Cut from the team. Banished.
But it’s so good with Asian food. Just stop. Please.
I guess you don’t like complex and aromatic whites that much, eh? Please. I asked you to stop.
I’m going to invoke Frank Morgan and Tim Hanni, MW, and legions of like-minded people for back-up here. We all should drink what we like, and my tastes are my tastes and what you say isn’t really relevant. You like those spices and aromas? Great. Here, you can have mine.
Sure, maybe someday I’ll find myself in Alsace, Alto Adige, or some other gewürztraminer-crazed place and some winsome and wonderful white will have its way with me. But until then, see ya later Gee. I’m unfriending you.
What grapes have you unfriended, or perhaps even blocked? Are there are a few you’d like to say adios to but just can’t muster the courage? I say go for it. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.
**James Thurber/E. B. White cartoon reprinted without permission of The New Yorker/Conde Nast
**Image of Walt Whitman reprinted without permission of The Atlantic magazine
**Image of the aforementioned variety obtained via Wikipedia
**The book is property of The Grape Belt. Required reading for all new staff members
10 thoughts on “Contradiction? More Like Evolution.”
Robin Bell Renken
I’m with Juliet, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel went to the bottom of my list for quite a while. Occasionally I will dip back in, but I typically don’t search them out. Life is indeed too short and there are too many wines out there that I want to taste. That said, if there is a bottle open and someone is pouring…I’m just too polite to say no.
Martin D. Redmond
I always enjoy reading your writing Tom. And this piece, as usual, has left a smile on my face!
Martin, you are way too kind. Thank you!
the drunken cyclist
I usually agree about Gewurz. Really. And particularly American Gewurz. Have not had a good one yet. I won’t tell you to visit my second home of Alsace and taste the wine in its splendor. I won’t tell you that. I promise. But I did just (as in two days ago) have a Devine botrysized Gewurz in Bordeaux that would blow your mind. But I won’t tell you that either. I promise.
Thank you for not telling me about other gewürztraminers that you think I might like. I have no desire to learn anything new or try wines I might possibly like. Anyway, as if the French know anything about making good wine. Yeah, right.
Couldn’t agree more! Re-visiting is also a good idea too. When I first got into wine I was served a pinot noir which i think not so fondly as more like “pepper water”…stayed away from the grape and then re-visited and now it’s one of my favourite varieties. That being said, so many varieties so little time…drink up (whatever your preference)!
Thanks for reading. Maybe someday I’ll go back to the big G. But, as you say, so many varieties, so little time! Cheers!
Robin Bell Renken
My husband had a similar Pinot experience and spent much time away from the variety. I did try to win him back, because many times I could not then justify opening a bottle of Pinot just for myself.
Totally agree. When a wine rookie asks me for advice, I simply tell them that a good wine, is a wine you like. I also tell them to taste as many as they can! Cabernet Sauvignon – definitely banished – and Australian Shiraz is getting close. Prokupac is my new best friend.
Very timely piece for me!! And my first cut from my team will also be G!