Yes, I know you’re all sick of it, which assumes I write this blog for anyone aside from myself and the sad little alien who lives in my mailbox, W. Blinky Gray, but Andy Rooney won’t leave me alone. He has a lot of opinions about wine and the wine business, and now that he’s not broadcasting any more, because HE’S DEAD, he has asked me to communicate his thoughts and grievances. Be grateful. I could easily be channeling other dead guys, like Chester A. Arthur and his wife Bea. Or James Suckling. We are at a turning point in the world—there are as many dead people to talk to as there are living people to talk to. But the dead all speak a universal language. Insanity, in which I am fluent.
ON ALCOHOL LEVELS
There’s been a lot of discussion in wine chat rooms and on wine blogs, you know, places where really sad and lonely people hang out to try and impress each other with their knowledge of a subject that is deeply and genuinely meaningless, about how much alcohol is appropriate for wine. They never say anything that makes any sense. Wouldn’t it really be for the best if wine didn’t have any alcohol at all? Then we could get rid of that stupid warning label on every bottle of wine, and pregnant women could start operating heavy machinery again. I’d like that. A woman in a hardhat arouses me, maybe because it’s been a long time since my hat was hard. And if there weren’t any alcohol in wine we could drink a lot more of it. Wine wouldn’t be about quality, it would be about quantity, which would eventually bring down the prices of even the most expensive wines. Imagine a 2009 Chateau Lafite selling for twenty dollars. Without the alcohol, it’s probably not even worth that. In fact, Lafite is utterly worthless without alcohol. Yet this is the thanks alcohol gets. People want less of it in their wine. These hypocrites who run their mouths off about alcohol levels pretend they don’t drink the wine for the alcohol. They say they care about “balance.” Like you’d rather date an anorexic gymnast than a nice drunk girl. Just drink the wine and stop reading the alcohol percentage listed on the label. You sound like an idiot.
Yeast work hard to create alcohol, and then they die. Those people babbling in chat rooms should do the same.
I wish everyone would stop talking about Merlot. Merlot is a subject more tired than Madonna’s vagina. I can say that, I’m old and dead. Remember when Merlot was the most popular red wine in America? Every restaurant offered Merlot by-the-glass. I started to think Clos du Bois was Blanche’s other sister. “I have always depended upon the blindness of strangers.” It wasn’t long before every wine writer and expert was complaining about Merlot. They said it was ruined by its success, it was planted in all the wrong places, and only inexperienced wine lovers were dumb enough to order it when superior wines like Syrah and Sangiovese were available. But people kept on buying it. It’s easy to understand why the wine experts were upset. Merlot had become popular even though wine critics hadn’t been pushing it, in fact, it was popular despite them. Sommeliers hated it, but it outsold everything on their esoteric, ego-driven wine lists. Wine experts don’t like it when the public ignores what they say and order what they enjoy. Wine isn’t actually about drinking what you like, though that’s what they always tell you. It’s about drinking what they like.
Then Merlot became unpopular. Most people think it’s because of one line in a bad movie called “Sideways.” Paul Giamatti, who I think is the Merlot of actors, I just wish he’d go away, he’s starting to seem cheap, says, “I won’t drink any f***in’ Merlot.” This line supposedly ruined sales of Merlot. It didn’t. Hollywood likes to take credit for everything. Except “John Carter.” And Fatty Arbuckle.
But once Merlot was declared dead, the critics decided to resurrect it. Now everyone is trumpeting the virtues of Merlot. Merlot is underrated, Merlot is making a comeback, Merlot should run for President on the Green Tea Party ticket. Many of these are the same people who couldn’t wait to see it die--wine journalists and sommeliers. For some reason, they just like to yammer on about Merlot.
I wish they’d find something else to talk about. Maybe if I say, “I won’t drink any f***in’ Moscato,” they’ll talk about me.
ON WINE GIZMOS
I have a fondness for wine gizmos, I think all men do. Women don’t really like gizmos as much as men, they’re more practical and more intelligent. But they buy gizmos for their boyfriends and husbands, like how you buy chew toys for your dog. Give him something to do. It isn’t really a bone, but it sure seems like your dog thinks it is.
I have a bunch of those wine gizmos here. This one is a grey rubber valve that goes into the neck of an open bottle of wine. Then you take this white gizmo and pretend you’re pumping all of the air out of the bottle. I’m sure they got this technology from NASA. I’m not sure what kind of boob thinks this works, but pumping this thing up and down makes boys happy. I don’t have to tell you why. They all want to do it at least once a day.
Here’s one of my favorite gizmos. It’s an aerator. See, you put the wine glass underneath it, pour your favorite Pinot Noir through it, and the wine bubbles and froths and goes into the glass filled with oxygen. This is supposed to make the wine taste better. All the science says it doesn’t, that you get the same result just pouring the wine directly into the glass, that the effect of oxygen on wine takes an hour to happen, but this is fun. It’s like being a mad scientist. Or maybe Fatty Arbuckle. And people actually believe it does taste better immediately after going through an aerator, but these are the same people who think assigning numbers to wine is science too. We need to be nice to them.
I don’t know about you, but when I go to a wine lover’s house and he has a bunch of gizmos, I wonder if he actually knows anything about wine. Wine isn’t about toys. Sex is.