Friday, January 22, 2010

Jock and Jill

Remember High School? I bet you think you do,--the problem is that for most of us as we grow older, those memories have become vague, slathered over by years of TV sitcoms and movies, a plaster of idiocy telling us how High School actually was. It has become a familiar cautionary tale, a staple of sitcoms and a host of ill conceived cheerful movies. How the jocks accost and bully the poor Nerds, shoving their heads in the toilet, how the sensitive but underthatgreenDolceGabbanasweater gracefully lithe and muscular male manages to negotiate the thin line between 'nerddom' and 'jockdom' and therefore attract the bevies of panting females who have just been waiting for a man who will not submit to to becoming mere charachiture.

Me? I don't remember any of those people, I don't think the word nerd had been invented yet. If anything preoccupied me during those years (besides the intense yearning for a series of unattainable females) it was the question of who was most likely to be shortly turned into a game of tic-tac-dead in Vietnam.

I was probably what the movies would call a nerd, I got really good grades, I found the academic work at once easy and challenging, and I occasionally smoked pot with my friends (or maybe it was banana skins, I don't remember) and played in the orchestra. I never had my head shoved down the toilet. I didn't even know who the
captain of the football team was (to my embarrassment), I didn't even go to the prom.
On my biggest date of my senior year, strolling down the Ocean Parkway bridle path I saw a man shot and bleeding out through the knees. My date, believe it or not whose name was I think Buffy, was really nice about the whole thing and handled it better than me actually, much better, but honestly it kind of turned me off to dating for a while.

Anyway, the point is that the easy stereotypes that we are offered as 'options' for self-characterization are always to some extent harmful in that the permit us to ignore our actual life experiences. Whether it involves becoming a 'good ole boy' in the south or falling into the jock-nerd dichotomy in High School, they all encourage us to become something we are not for the sake of easy classification.

In America it seems, everything is destined to be turned into a cautionary tale sooner or later. Beverages have likewise fallen into this same puerile pattern, beer is for jocks, wine is for nerds,--it is somewhat understandable, just imagine the contest in the movie 'Beerfest' conducted with Sauvignon Blanc--the butchness just disappears completely. Anyway, we should understand one thing, the rest of the world is not this way,--the foolish characitures by which we misremember our lives somehow do not obtain there, or at least they do in some way which is incomprehensible to the casual tourist. I don't know why this is,--I grew up here remember, but having traveled in Europe I got the picture to some extent, the effeminate, intellectual image of the wine drinker simply does not apply there.

Anyway, don't get me wrong, I love good beer, always have, but the next time you are gathered in front of the telly with a bunch of guys watching the Super Bowl, try asking for a nice Cab Franc, see what happens, maybe you'll get your head stuck in the toilet, maybe not --but remember this, at least there is a slim to none chance you will get shipped off to Vietnam.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Hot Tomato" Wine in Grocery Stores

I think it is high time for me to weigh in publicly in the debate whether wine should be sold in NY grocery stores. The issue has not died despite its failure to pass the legislature last year and has once again become a hot topic recently in winemaking circles with Scott Osborn of Fox Run vineyards leading the slightly staggering charge.

Let me say first that this is not really an economic issue for 90% of wineries since, as I have pointed out to Scott previously, I don't believe that Shoprite will be beating down my door (or that of any other Hudson Valley winery) with sticks of hardened muenster cheese to get me to place Silver Stream Chardonnay in their aisles. As Mike Migliore of WhiteCliff points out, in all probability it will result in the 'Walmartization' of wine with the larger more cost effective operations dominating the shelves. There is also the issue of fairness to liquor store owners who have been moderately cooperative already in promoting New York State wines. Also, it is kind of hard to imagine asking the shelf stocker who trains parakeets dressed in circus outfits in his basement for advice on which is the proper auslese Riesling to go with Veal in truffle sauce.

As with all contentious and apparently irresolvable questions I have a simple and unambiguous answer. Allow liquor stores to sell tomatoes. Not only will this level the playing field it will thrill Bloody Mary advocates.

Along these same lines I also have a remarkably easy, obviously overlooked solution to global warming; pipe all the excess carbon dioxide produced at coal generating plants into water and sell it as seltzer. I don't understand why nobody has come up with this remarkably simple fix. I can only guess that it is the powerful seltzer industry which has blocked this to date with their scare tactics regarding Government run big seltzer.

Which brings me to another issue. If I hear the term carbon footprint one more time I am going to have to shoot somebody. Why anyone coined this term in the first place is beyond me. For those enamored of anthropomorphising anything and everything Carbon does not have feet. It does not walk or dance. No one in the history of the world has ever had their rhumba interrupted by a misplaced lump of coal clumsily trouncing their big toe. However in line with my other world saving solutions (which I am offering here free of charge) it presents an obvious simple fix. If you want to reduce the carbon footprint just buy carbon smaller shoes. Once again it is probably the remarkable simplicity of this that has evidently caused scientists and environmentalists to overlook it.

So, in short, let me say this to those who would further complicate our already complicated lives with issues that most likely will only serve to inflame passions thus posing yet a new source of carbon as well as a danger to the brandy manufacturers, leave me out of it. I don't really care if I have to walk two doors down in Shoprite Plaza to buy wine. I don't buy that much wine since I have a whole cellar of the stuff anyway. While I am on the subject, there is one way to solve both problems at once: Wine Coolers! I don't know why I didn't think of this before,--perhaps it was too simple even for me! So get ready for the merger of PSE&G and Arbor Mist. 'Hey! What do you mean there is no ice?'!