Sunday, March 18, 2007
My brother-in-law took exception to my referring to him as "a bit of a wine snob." He is such a good writer, and has so much to say on this subject, that I asked him to submit a guest post to balance my crusty attitude toward expensive wines. He sent it in as a comment to my post of yesterday. I'm taking the liberty of elevating it here to a separate essay.
The meal you prepared is tastier in the writing than it was at the table, or so it seems in hindsight. We could have feasted around those sausages and then sucked on the bones. The dog went mad on them last night.
Yes, I do take issue with wine snobbery. There is no such thing, in my view, only the realizing that life is too short to drink crappy wine. Any guest at your table should by now be worshipping your art. And since they don't possess the same culinary vision as you, by and large, the only way out of this conundrum is to tote fine wines to your table. Anything less than a fine Burgundy or Bordeaux seems an insult. Daring to present a twist cap Pinot at your table, that ubiquitous see-through candy water, reduces the guest to mere hanger-on status, a low life leech bag gimme scoudrel. Me, a snob? Nah.
Funny how wine is one of the few pursuits that assumes this snobbery status when so many other fine pursuits--literature,classical music, a fine autombile, a taste for French puff pastry--would never be relegated to the same ignominious label as snobbery. Could there be such a thing as a pork snob? A Thai food snob? A chocolate snob? No, this is nothing but a taste for the good things in life.
Wine need not assume such heightened stature. As you say, it has been imbibed for two millenia. Like anything else, its craft, art, terroir has suffered as much abuse as the beef burger, so all the more reason to keep the guests in line with thoughtful pairings, offerings that reflect less a price consciousness than a spark of educated preparation to pair something worthy of your fare.
Another irony here is that those most disposed to afford good wine, i.e, the rich, rarely have a clue what they should be pouring down their gullet. They are snobs on many levels, perhaps, but never when it comes to wine. In any case, thank you for yet another fine dining evening.