Disaffected Prep

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Sentence of the Day: Just like Candy

“In my mind,” he responded, “candy, you know, depending on the candy, for example, Big League Chew or Nerds, could be tremendous, whereas candy I don’t like, like Bazooka Joe bubble gum, could be a problem.”
-Gary Vaynerchuk on describing wine like candy, NY Times Dining Section: The Pour, 09/09/09

Is there any hobby or industry whose language is more laughable than wine?  Bouquet, nose - the terms employed are insanely mockable.

According to common winsdom,  to understand wine you must first know how to speak wine among the cognoscenti, adopting an edifice of language that, like most snobbish pursuits, is really an exercise in obfuscation.  In other words, manipulating language in order to keep hoi polloi at bay.

So that's why I find Gary Vanerchuk's descriptions of wine really liberating.   He speaks without the formalized pretense that, rather than "objectively" describing something, in reality creates artificial borders as to what is canonical language or not. 

On a side note, my first wine book, and still my favorite, is Mark Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine.  I would recommend it to anyone interested in getting down the basics of wine.  It's very approachable, and I still go back to it time after time, even after graduating to the more refined books of Robinson, Immer, et al.

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