On Wine. A (Greek) Tragedy


Oedipus and the Sphinx, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – a stickler for line and formality if ever there was one.

I agree with part of this blog post from Ryan Opaz.

Wineries bear some responsability, but it’s much more complex than that. In the words of Miles and Milner’s 1987 Edinburgh Festival, “Oedipus Rex: A Five Minute Rock Musical, “You killed your Dad, fucked your Mum and she just killed herself.”

If anything, wineries, and particularly fine wine (-eries) (noted in this Decanter report yesterday as anything over $10 per bottle) are guilty, above all, of just one thing: selling themselves out of the market (so, all three Oedipus crimes at once). The Bordelais and so many Californians are clearly the obvious miscreants in this regard.

However, like it or not, wine is a complicated beast and it is, in itself and to the uninitiated, rightly or wrongly intimidating. Of course that should be wrongly – because wine is there to be enjoyed. It is a pleasure not a pennance.

Much like art, there is a fear amongst many consumers of not knowing enough, of appearing  ignorant. A fear exacerbated by overbearing sommeliers or braggart retailers eager to show off their own “knowledge”. But just like that old Chinese proverb, the wise man is he who knows he knows nothing

If “wine educators”  ( and god, is that phrase cheesey) – loosely translated as everyone in the wine trade from wine maker to wine bar owner to wine retailer, even to the final customer) could just accept that wine is a great product that only exists to be enjoyed, discovered and consumed with gusto and an adventurous spirit, everything would be fine.

Not everyone can afford the very best, and indeed not everyone wants to drink the very bst. If you love and yearn for Liebfraumilsch, drink and yearn for Liebraumilsch. It’s your money and your palate. Spend it and indulge how you wish.

I have long said retailers and commentators, such as my goodself, are not there to judge. That said, I have also long said that thinking ouside the proverbial box, trying something new and, dare I say it, moving up, are never going to do anyone any harm.

Wine is a big adventure, let it remain so  So, everyone, be they makers, sellers or consumers, please, make it remain so. And with regard to pricing, vote with yur wallet. Wineries, and the Bordelais, will have to accept the message, eventually.

Get out there and drink.

About matthewhayesbrognon

Wine Merchant
This entry was posted in VF - Pour encourager les autres. Bookmark the permalink.

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