Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

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5th Jan 2015

What not to publish on your wine blog in 2015

by Ron Washam

 

Shut up about alcohol levels, for Christ’s sake.

You don’t know what you’re talking about. And what ABV (Alcohol By Verisimilitude) is it that you’re referring to, the number listed on the label? Moron. Those numbers aren’t real, they’re imaginary, guesses made the same way contestants make pricing guesses on “The Price is Right” — they try to take a shot without going over the actual retail alcohol level. Taking the alcohol listed on the label seriously is like believing the guy’s height or the woman’s weight on Match.com. How stupid are you? The wine is always going to be shorter and fatter than you expected.

Winemaker Interviews.

Just stop. Please. I’m begging you. Wine is interesting, the people who make it?--not really. Winemaker interviews are even more boring than athlete interviews. Like jocks, they just say the same damned things over and over. Winemaking clichés. “I just try to let the vineyard speak for itself.” Shut the hell up. If the vineyard could speak for itself it would say, “When are you going to pick this goddam fruit, asshole, it’s way past ready!” Winemaker interviews are duller than Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. “I make wine to go with food.” No shit. Really? And what are other wineries doing? Making wine to go with bodily fluids? Just once I want a winemaker to say, “I make really good wines, but they suck with food. But try ‘em with snot. Really tasty when you have a cold.” Winemaker interviews are unbelievably stupid. “I make wines I like to drink.” Oh for God’s sake, why would you do that? That just seems silly, making wines you like to drink. Oh, you rebel, you. Come on, the only good winemaker interviews are with Randall Grahm. Randall gives good panel. But he’s been interviewed more often than a Gitmo detainee. The rest? We don’t care! Really. I’m not kidding. No more.

Everybody knows that what sells wine is the story.

Don’t mention it like it’s original insight. You’re the 15,000th jackass, pretend-marketing-genius, to mention it. Idiot. Try to think of something original to say. Oh, I know, why not, “Social media is a way of connecting with your customers.” Wow. Don’t think I’ve ever heard it put so well. And, really, do stories sell wine? Oh sure, most people walk around the grocery store and ask the pimply kid stocking the bottles, “Hey, what’s the story on Yellow Tail? Why is it so fucking cheap?” Or they rely on Wine.com’s Big Chief Storyteller Wilfred Wong to sell them some fictional winery claptrap. Because, truly, most small producers have only one story to tell. “Why the hell did I think I could make money in the wine business? I’m going broke. Better make up a story.” Stories don’t sell wine; stories sell wine that won’t sell otherwise, like because it got huge scores or is ridiculously delicious. It’s the fallback for when the wine isn’t actually very good. Like when you do something stupid and get called on it, you make some shit up that tries to make you look like you’re not really stupid. “I meant to leave the car in Drive so I’d beat the traffic. And why would that store put a plate glass window in the front anyway?” That’s what winery stories are, mostly. Prefabricated stories to cover for their stupid wines. And to give bloggers something to plagiarize.

Anything about Natural Wine.

Let it die. Your concern for the Earth and the holy temple of your body is fascinating, don’t get me wrong. But you’re boring the piss out of everybody. Really. I’m not kidding. You’re just another middle-class white person who feels the need to instruct all of us on morality and taste. I get enough of that in the news every goddam day. I drink wine to escape from people preaching at me. Fine, I admire you. You’re a better wine drinker than I am, with an incredibly sensitive and refined palate. You’re saving the world, if only people would listen! Is that what you want to hear? OK, I’ve said it. Now, will you shut the fuck up? I have a Jehovah’s Witness at my door, and he’s more interesting. He gives me free books. You? You give me poorly written descriptions and factually inaccurate chemistry. At least the J.W. knows his book is fiction. Just let it go. You bought that Natural Wine produced in France, it was shipped in an ocean-polluting tanker to a busy harbor, loaded on an exhaust-belching truck to be delivered to a warehouse, driven in a truck getting four miles per gallon to your local wine shop, and you feel good about it because the guy who made it didn’t spray Roundup? Thanks. Now I get it. You’re a saint.

Young winemakers to watch.

Remember those young winemakers you wrote about two years ago? Still watching ‘em. And they still aren’t doing anything but making pretty standard wine. Why am I watching them? So you can look some sort of wine guru if, somehow, Parker gives them high scores? Dickwad. Why not write about young winemakers who are good-looking? Oh. Yeah. Sorry. Young winemakers to watch it is!

Busting wine myths.

The only myth that hasn’t been busted is the myth that you have something original to write about wine. We already know that the Champagne coupe glass isn’t a mold of Marie Antoinette’s tit. It’s a mold of Louis XVI’s left nut. Big royal gag—Louis has teabagged your bubbles! Maybe you should skip the Champagne and drink Dry Sack. That you think that we’re so ignorant that we actually believe these myths you’re busting is incredibly insulting. Though you’re probably correct that only cretins read your wine blog. We know that it’s a myth that you can only drink red wine with meat, or white wine with fish. No shit! Gee, I hadn’t heard that since Julia Child was under 5’4”. Now she’s under six feet, and I have to hear it from you?! Imbecile. There isn’t a single solitary myth in the wine business that hasn’t been busted twenty times, and by people far more talented than you. And long dead. Time to join them.

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