Wine? What is it FOR anyway?
You may have heard us say that “Most wine is not SUPPOSED to be ART, it’s Groceries!” meaning that, in general, wine is meant to a normal part of everyday meals as a help to both digestion and conviviality. Accordingly, we would just as soon see you buy a case of good “everyday stuff” as a bottle of Riserva Brunello for the same price. But, mostly for amusement, we do often “lurk” on the sort of Internet Wine Boards where a tiny minority of the wine buying population post feverishly about getting on mailing lists for overpriced wineries (and then bitch about the pricing when they do get an allocation!) and “offlines” (actual meetings of real people, as opposed to cyberspace encounters) where tastings more akin to athletic events than degustations are held to see which overextracted, over oaked, reverse osmosis fortified Bionic Über Wine is the “best” (as in “mine’s bigger than yours”).
We know some of these guys (and they are ALWAYS guys) personally and have noticed them sinking into a vicious cycle: “You know, I’m drinking less these days because it tears me up so I need to drink better wine, what do you have over $100?” (by which he means even MORE extracted and over oaked which will ‘tear him up’ even worse). So, we were not surprised to see on at least two different forums lately polls asking members how much wine they actually consumed in a week and getting answers like “200ml a day” and “one to two bottles a week between my wife and I” indicating that these folks are not wine DRINKERS in any normal sense of the word but have come to consider wine as entertainment, something to be “tasted” in small quantities as fodder for intellectual discussion or as proof of bragging rights as collectors.
The moral of the story? Not EVERY wine has to be “the bomb”, most of it SHOULD be “just plain delicious and food friendly” and you should be able to get a great bottle for not much more than the cost of your actual meal.