Dear Onion: Local wine is not shitty

local wine

No, Onion, your post was not worthy of Jonathan Swift.

Your post making fun of local wine is lame — and using “shitty” because you can’t think of anything funny to say is even lamer

Dear Onion:

The Wine Curmudgeon has long respected satire (Jonathan Swift! And Mark Twain! And Mel Brooks!) and has even written some. So it is with much regret that I write you regarding this week’s post about local wine, which was not funny, not satire, and not true.

In fact, your post was so lame that I am using the word “shitty” in my post, something I have not done in almost 15 years of writing the blog. When you are a good writer, you don’t need to use “shitty” in an attempt to make something funny. It’s funny because you are a good writer.

And whoever wrote “Shitty Region Of Country Figures It Might As Well Give Producing Wine A Shot” is not a good writer. Or even a decent one. It was bad writing at its worst, making fun of something without being clever, witty, or entertaining. (For the proper use of “shitty,” see the 1971 version of “Shaft.”)

Consider this line from your post. It’s as old and tired as any wine humor, the equivalent of the worst “Take my wife, please… joke: “We have all this space that’s just sitting here. How hard could winemaking possibly be? And it’s not like most people can tell the difference between good and bad stuff.”

As I once wrote on the blog discussing this very topic, most people who make fun of wine think it’s stupid to begin with, so there is no need to be funny. Your post is an excellent example of this. Someone there, no doubt needing to make a deadline, said, “Let’s make fun of wine in the middle of the country!” Someone else, no doubt knowing the need to make a deadline, said, “Cool!”

Perhaps most depressing is that wine needs satire. As regular readers here know, I am always ready to make fun of the wine business. But this didn’t do that. There is excellent wine, as good as in France or Spain or Italy or California, in several of the states you mention. I know this because I am the co-founder and past president of a group called Drink Local Wine; in other words, I have actually tasted the stuff you brush off because wine is stupid to begin with, so wine in Texas or Michigan must be even more stupid.

Hence, I will make you the same offer I have made the mainstream media – when you venture into areas you know nothing about, check with me first. I am passionate about good writing, and always happy to help.

Yours in wine humor,

The Wine Curmudgeon

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2 thoughts on “Dear Onion: Local wine is not shitty

  • By Cody Reynolds - Reply

    I read the whole article, it was pretty funny. I think it was speaking more to lazy people trying to open successful business, without actually working. Punch cards? ““Sonoma Of The Plains and they’ll just come” is hilarious. I didn’t read anti wine, it ended with “The plan reportedly stalled when other residents of the shitty regions reminded them that even bad wine takes years to make and that, pound for pound, methamphetamine are still a far more lucrative investment.” Which they are.

  • By Merry Bauman - Reply

    Thank you for defending local wines! Ours have won over 600 awards and titles in national and international wine competitions.
    We make real fruit, berry, and grape wines – not just flavored. Our Elderberry line is even Kosher Certified. One of our wines was chosen the official wine of the 2002 Winter Olympic Village – Elderberry Spiced. We have Elderberry from the totally dry all the way to the sweet dessert wines and even a Chocolate Elderberry called Indulge Me.
    Check us out sometime. NO one has ever called our wines “Shitty”. Thank you for defending all of us who make local wines.
    I love humor – my very name reflects it.

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