I arrive at the DASWI conference (Discuss and Argue Silly Wine Information) where a buxom brunette named Vinifera Galore meets me at the check-in table. She’s been waiting just for me. She hands me a glass of wine and with demure smile says, “Your reputation precedes you, Mr. Barber. Care for a Savigny les Beaune?”I look her in the eye and with a charming grin I coyly reply, “As long as it’s not a ’92.” My entourage of brown-nosers and wannabees politely laugh because the joke is actually on the ’92 vintage, which everyone knows was rather dreadful, really.
“Splendid! Splendid, old chap!” they say as they gather around me in their blazers, silk scarves, and turtle-necks. I straiten my ascot, begin speaking, and they hang on my every word. I know all the wines, vintages, regions, and facts and I spew them liberally. Some passersby believe I’m speaking in tongues. Before long I’m pontificating obscure wine minutia with a passion that some astronomers reserve for arguing that yes, Pluto really is still a planet, damn it.
If the above paragraphs appeal to you, you’re reading the wrong column. The true story is that I’m more likely to attend the IJAWA conference (I Just Appreciate Wine’s Awesomeness) while wearing an ABGB T-shirt (Anyone But Green Bay). The judging method I use is very simple. There’s one needle and it’s located front and center over the wow-factor gauge in my head. The wine that sends that needle highest wins. Does that mean I don’t taste and appreciate the hints of forest floor, the nuance of baked leather, or the subtle tones of moldy walrus hide? No, actually I do–but obsessing on it only gets in the way of discussing more important topics like why the Goddesses of India have so many arms or what on Earth the first person to ever milk a cow was thinking.
I love wine. But for me, once it becomes a matter of trying to outwine someone else, I bale quicker than when I had my blind date with Rosie O’Donnell.
This week’s recommendation comes from Washington.
Corvidae Lenore 2008, Columbia Valley Syrah ($11.99): I’m tempted to soliloquize about how drinking Lenore is like drinking liquid, silky, dry hay. Or espouse its light tannins and balance of pepper with fruit, etc. All of this would be true but I just won’t let that get in the way of appreciating its total awesomeness.