The blog’s sixth annual do-it-yourself wine review — what better way to enjoy the duration than to poke fun at wine?
Technology keeps threatening to make wine reviews obsolete, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still revel in the snobbish gibberish that has made them infamous. Hence, the blog’s sixth annual do-it-yourself wine review.
So write your own wine review, using the drop-down menus in this post. Just click the menu and choose your favorite line. Those of you who get the blog via email may have to go to the website — click here to do so.
As always, thanks to Al Yellon, since I stole the idea from him. This year, the format is a little different — reviews of four wines. A special tip of the WC’s fedora to those who contributed classic lines.
This French red blend:
This California cabernet sauvignon:
This Italian Prosecco:
This $50 rose:
What better way to idle away the hours than with a do-it-yourself “wine during the duration” post?
The blog’s annual do-it-yourself posts are some of its most popular: the do-it-yourself wine New Year’s resolutions and wine review. They allow us to skewer wine’s pomposity and, if I’ve done a good job, offer a few giggles. So why not a do-it-yourself “wine during the duration” post?
So take a look at these suggestions for spending your time with wine during the duration. Use the drop-down menus, click the answer, and choose your favorite line. And keep in mind that some people think drinking wine during the duration, including a certain Boston doctor, will kill us sooner rather than later.
The first thing I did after I had to stay at home was to:
My duration buying patterns have changed:
My duration drinking patterns have changed:
The biggest wine problem I’ve had during the duration has been:
All in all, I’d say wine during the duration:
Baking bread, scheduling virtual tastings, and, of course, drinking wine
1. Log in to Amazon every morning to see if the delivery date for the new coffee maker has changed. The old one broke the second week of March, and I am using an old Melitta to drip coffee until the new one arrives – which it finally did, at the end of last week.
2. Decide what kind of bread to bake this week. So far, I’ve made pitas, an Italian-style bread loaf, hamburger buns, English muffins, James Beard’s microwave English muffin bread (quite intriguing), and biscuits. Yes, you can have the recipes. Also, despite the buzz in the cyber-ether, sourdough is much overrated.
3. Figure what to make for dinner, which is not just about what’s in the refrigerator. Do I have wine to match? What’s the point of making my Mom’s spaghetti and meatballs if the only wine in the house is sauvignon blanc?
4. Check in with my Mom.
5. Plan wine buying trips around supermarket visits. Can I get the food I need, as well as some drinkable wine, at the same place? Jimmy’s, Dallas’ legendary Italian grocery, has terrific cheap wine, but it doesn’t carry milk. On the other hand, lots of milk at Kroger and not much wine I want to buy.
6. Try not to annoy my various magazine editors to see if there is any freelance work. So far, it hasn’t been too bad, and they have all been terrific.
7. Do virtual tastings. So far, I’ve done seven, including one with the Big Guy and an epic five-screen tasting with friends in Boulder, Colo., southern Arizona, and Scranton, Pa. Plus, I missed a tasting with those of us who started Drink Local Wine all those years ago. The technology works for small groups, but I’m not sure it would be efficient for a blog virtual tasting. It might be possible, though, to do a live Q & A. We can do that through the website, and don’t need third party software. I’ll post something this week or next.
8. Keep the blog current with what’s going on in the world, while not losing sight of why the blog exists. Because a rant about the three-tier system reminds us that this thing will eventually end, and we’ll have our usual – and much more welcome – aggravations.
A hallowed blog tradition: The April Fool’s wine post
The blog’s April Fool’s post, which ran from 2013 to 2018, was always well-read and well-received. I stopped writing it for a couple of reasons: First, too many people thought the posts were true. And what does that say about the wine business?
Second, because wine kept getting weirder than any post I could write. The Wine Clip magnetic wine conditioner, anyone?
But that doesn’t mean we still can’t laugh at the six April Fool’s wine posts. They’re still relevant (even if some of the names have changed) and they’re still funny.
The blog’s April Fool’s wine posts:
• Wine Curmudgeon will sell blog to Wine Spectator
• Big Wine to become one company
• Wine Spectator: If you can’t buy it, we won’t review it
• Supreme Court: Regulate wine writing through three-tier system
• Gov. Perry to California: Bring your wineries to Texas
• California secedes from U.S. — becomes its own wine country
Because when there’s a crisis, the Wine Curmudgeon is here to help
March 21 update: Thanks for all the emails and kind words about this post. It has been one of the best read on the blog since this thing started. I’ll work on a virtual tasting and let you know whether we can do it. My only regret? No one has asked me to help them install Linux.
1. Try a wine you’ve never tried before. How difficult can it be, when you can’t buy toilet paper, to push your cart over to the supermarket Great Wall of Wine and pick out a $10 bottle?
2. Look for every corkscrew in the house and get rid of the ones you don’t want. How many corkscrews do you use? And do you really need this one?
3. Never, ever use the phrases “social distancing” or “sheltering in place.” This thing is bad enough; do we need to butcher the English language in the process?
4. Try a wine and food pairing you’ve never tried before. Chardonnay and frozen chicken pot pie? Tempranillo and quesadillas made with all the leftovers in the meat drawer in the fridge?
5. Install Linux on an old computer. You’ll be stunned at how easy it is. Really. I’ll even help if you want.
6. Hold a virtual tasting. I did that this week with my pal Jay Bileti, who lives in southern Arizona. We turned on Skype, opened two New World syrahs, and talked about the wines. That they weren’t even the same wines didn’t matter. The point was to taste and talk about wine, and it was tremendous fun. In fact, the more I think about it, there’s probably a way to do a virtual tasting through the blog, so that regular visitors can participate. If there’s enough interest, I will figure something out.
7. Bake bread. This is even even easier than installing Linux. This recipe is as basic as it gets – mix, knead, let rise, and bake. And don’t worry if you don’t have a stand mixer; you can use a food processor with a bread blade or mix by hand.
8. Finish the damned novel. (Yes, I know that doesn’t apply to most of us, but the thing has been sitting in a folder on my computer longer than I care to admit.)
9. Order from wine.com. The on-line retailer has been a long-time supporter of the blog, but that’s not the reason why I’m including it here. This is a chance to see if on-line wine sales make economic sense for you.
10. Keep a list of every despicable PR pitch you’ve received since this mess started, tying the pandemic into whatever foolishness they normally pitch. Sadly, there have been dozens. Then make sure to never, ever use those PR people in the future.
Don’t tell Bruce Lee that Drink Local doesn’t deserve a gold medal
Judge enough wine competitions, and you eventually run into the judge whose idea of being open minded is to give a sauvignon blanc a gold medal. Many don’t even bother to taste regional wine — they just mark it off because it’s Drink Local. Or, as a judge at a major U.S. competition once told me: “Only chardonnay, cabernet, and pinot noir get gold medals — just so you’ll know not to waste your time.”
Enter Bruce Lee, who has no time for this kind of foolishness. This blog post is dedicated to every judge I sat with during my career who would benefit from this kind of discussion.
The scene is from one of the first — and still one of the greatest — martial arts movies, 1973’s “Enter the Dragon.” Almost everything that has followed, whether Jackie Chan, the Hong Kong style, or even Disney, starts with “Enter the Dragon.” My apologies to Lee, as well as to everyone else associated with this incredible effort. Who knew John Saxon was a kung fu expert?
A tip o’ the WC’s fedora to KAABA on YouTube, where I found the original scene. And all silliness like this owes a debt to WineParody, whose Robert Parker epic is the standard by which these efforts are judged.
Make sure you turn captions on when you watch the video; you can make the captions bigger or change their color by clicking on the settings gear on the lower right.