Notes from the Cellar: Make a list, check it twice: the sequel

by Jeff Cox, Wine and Beer Merchandiser

This article was originally published in December 2007

“Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine so that I may whet my mind and say something clever.” — Aristophanes, 444-380 B.C.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A lot of folks rob themselves of untold pleasure by basing their wine drinking on little bits of received (but incorrect) wisdom and large helpings of snobbery. Don’t forget that the more you learn, the less you know. On second thought, never mind — less demand makes my favorite wines more affordable.

A handshake is the world’s best contract. There’s no amount of lucre or power that’ll buy back your word, once it’s been sold. Some of the world’s best wine producers and growers do business based entirely on mutual trust. Not surprising, theirs are among the most character — and terroir-laden wines on the big blue orb.

In a similar vein, “lawyering,” in and of itself, is a noble profession. But it’s useful to note that the difference between the advocate and the legal “shark” is as wide as that between the philosopher and the sophist.

When it comes to wineries, the ostentation of the facility almost always is inversely proportionate to the love, truth and passion in the bottle.

Ditch the “to-go” cup. Stop, sip, look, listen, maybe even breathe a little — or talk to a real live human. Don’t even open the laptop. You don’t need the pacifier while you drive and Weyerhauser doesn’t need the money. Seriously.

“Cooking wine” simply should mean wine that you happen to use for cooking. It’s silly to use cheap, hideous plonk in a dish that’s otherwise composed of quality ingredients. If you wouldn’t drink it by itself, it has no place in your kitchen.

Sulfur is a mineral, not a chemical. So, unless you’re among the fewer than one in 20 humans who are truly allergic to sulfur (a.k.a. “sulfites”), your issue instead probably is histamines, so quit freakin’ already. A little sulfur is what keeps your wine from turning into a big science project.

Drink more dolcetto. Think of it as Italian Beaujolais — dry, with the sweet charm of a fine spring day. Life is sweet. If you’re too hip for either Beaujolais or a little sweetness, you’re too hip for your own good (and wrong, besides). Trust me.

Drink more Italian whites, riesling, Rhône wines, albariño, Rueda, gruner veltliner and all those other verve-packed, lovely voices in the world’s Babel of flavors.

Life is short, the world is big. Make every glass count. Ciao.

Also in this issue

News bites, December 2007

USDA sets standard for “grass-fed”, Fake chocolate, Resorts switch to natural and organic food, and more

Letters to the editor, December 2007

Stress hormones trigger binge eating, Bee Colony Collapse Disorder, Plastic bags and styrofoam, and more

Your co-op, December 2007

2007 fall member meeting, Upcoming Talk to the Board event