It’s been a while since I said anything HERE but, mind you, I’ve been saying it elsewhere. Mostly tete a tete, in person or by phone, via email or via social media. Largely, much time has been spent with my head down in the books. One of those books, dear reader, is going to be available to you first prior to the rest of the world.
The Simple Math philosophy is clear to you by now. You know it gets embellished as we cruise through life, too, since there’s so much going on that our daily goings-on can create a pretty complex pile of adventure (and misadventure). I’ve been working on a couple of books for a while but one is nearing its completion. ETA June 2012. Here’s a free preview!
“As a wine guy on both sides of the credit card, I’ve learned a dozen – no – 1001 things. Things about wine from the ground up. Winemaking, grapegrowing, packaging…statistics, chemistry, finance…and marketing. If you’ve built the Golden Widget, good on ya. If you want a backlog of widgets to take up space in your garage, forget everything you’ve ever learned about marketing, whether you’re the persuader or the audience. You’re going to learn something new tomorrow and the next day that may totally trump the last best reason you thought the bottle du jour should be in the spotlight. I think the main reason for this is the way we talk about wine, and as this shifts and evolves at the speed of light, so do our beliefs and understandings.
This book is intended to look at how we talk about wine, and to present a different lens that’s perfectly OK to use – a lens which can be dug out of the grade school box of belongings as relevant and useful. This lens is actually language, or vernacular, or vocabulary, or jargon, or even slang. Whatever you want to call a collection of words is fine; the way you use it is up to you. The people I’ve talked with for several years tend to agree that, just as we don’t typically chat in Old English about zinfandel, there’s always an easier way to convey a point. I felt like a king when I bought my first cordless electric drill. However, a regular screwdriver is as good as the day it came to being. There’s nobody looking over my shoulder when I use it, looking down at me for doing so or asking me questions about the laws of physics I take advantage of when I turn a screw. I’m just turning a screw and don’t care about friction coefficients or the fundamental function of the ramp as the reason the screw goes into the wood.
It’s the same in the world of fine wine. I contend that the use of complicated wine talk has had its day and that many producers of luxury wines would join me in the sentiment that, after a while, it’s really a bunch of hot air. By that, I mean the practice of describing wine by talking about how it was made or by using incomprehensible words that exclude too many people. Unfortunately, wine lovers have had this language forced down their throats for so long that they use it to be an active part of the culture, often not even knowing what the hell they’ve just said!
This is not by any stretch a textbook, or even a handbook per se – but rather a collection of suggestions as to how to get back to basics. It will be of interest to wine consumers as well as those in the wine trade because it will empower, explore and remind. It will provoke and prod. It will examine the uncomfortable perspective that we’re all probably guilty of making wine talk so friggin’ complicated when it really boils down to one simple point: YUM or YUCK.
You won’t learn to be a wine sales rep by reading this. Nor will you get tips about how to go from mere wine drinker to wine expert. Most certainly, this isn’t the book to teach you how to be the most engaging wino at the party. This is an antidote to snobbery and part of an ongoing story about how I’ve learned to pull that one eyebrow down while still knowing a little bit about a couple of things.”