Singing like a caged bird

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


At the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday of November -- that's tomorrow, November 18th, the new batch, err vintage, of Beaujolais Nouveau will be served to oenophiles all over the world. I like wine a lot and have developed a nice appreciation of a good wine. But some cognoscenti seem to take it a bit too far. A couple of things sort of make me uncomfortable about all the hoopla.

First, there is "winespeak". Now I know people like to describe the complexities of their palate, but often this is taken just too far.

Here.... for example, is a write up which isn't too outrageous:

" The wines are supple and very pleasant, characterized by a good balance between degree and acidity. The attack is good. The tannins are rounded. Besides its lovely sparkling ruby robe, Beaujolais Nouveau this year is fruity, redolent of fresh red fruit like strawberry, blackcurrant and raspberry, to which there is sometimes the addition of violet and peony fragrances. A lip-smacking, pleasure provoking wine."

But please can anyone explain to me what an attack is? Isn't tannin used to make shoe leather? What house of fashion designs robes for wines? When I was a kid we drank a sugary swill that was "fruity, redolent of fresh red fruit like strawberry, blackcurrant and raspberry" we called it red bug juice, but the grocery sold it as Kool-aid.

Nowhere....Not A Drop To Drink

Secondly, I have a problem with pricing. I can see paying a modest amount for a fine wine for a special occasion. But there is a point where I begin to feel edgy and thoughts of the millions of kids who do not have decent clean water to drink encroach on my enjoyment of the wine. And of course there are the infamous urban legends around "Two Buck Chuck".

Hey, deception in advertising and global trade can let us sip, imbibe, quaff or guzzle and without pangs of guilt. So stop by Trader Joes, stock up and put a few drops of your saving into an organization such as WaterAid or Global Water or UNESCO-IHE .


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