Existential Stalemate: The Destination Bottle is a Journey to Nowhere


This blog entry starts the way so many corny, bluesy, couldn't-get-creative-enough-to-think-of-anything-else type of dad-rockin' songs start:


I woke up this morning.


And I started thinking. I had one of those moments. One of those moments when I think about the wine industry as a whole, think about my personal heroes and beacons, and then think about my own little purpose in the middle of it all, and I literally wonder: why are we doing this? What's it all about? What is the goal of anyone who drinks wine, makes wine, cares about wine, or invests themselves in the practice of wine at all?


And I had this existential disappointment. And just as disappointing as this feeling was, it was also somehow satisfying and came with a sense of closure. As if the party was finally over. But also, somehow, as if the party was still raging but something inside of me just wanted to go home and go to bed.


Making any sense?


I didn't think so. I suppose that at the root of these questions was some sort of fatigue. Weariness from the idea that there is some sort of goal in the production and curation of wine and subsequent experiences involving it. Tired of notions of which wines are good, which wines are bad, which wines are iconic, which wines are of reasonable value, which wines are honest, which wines are dishonest, which wines are hip, which wines are square. Exhausted from trying to square ideas about the essence of wine in my own mind. And plain pooped from trying to find ways to present these square-peg ideas in such a way that a mind with nothing but round holes can understand.


Maybe, too, I'm just tired of drinking wine altogether. For now.


Perhaps, at the end of the day, the collective series of value judgments that go into one's own thoughts about any wine offered or sought out or crushed or sipped or suckled just falls flat. How many times can a person decide if something is good, bad, or ugly, especially when the goal posts for such things seem to be transient, or worse, downright invisible. How many tricks can producers try to play on consumers, pouring dollar after dollar into a competition for attention, with little regard in the market for how something actually tastes and why it does so? How can one believe in the magic when they get behind the curtain and it's not quite as sexy as the imagination led them to believe? How many times can you hear someone in California or British Columbia or Australia or Gilead say that their Chardonnay is grown in identical conditions to that grown in Chablis, and somehow they taste absolutely nothing alike? How long until we're done with the bullshit?


And I'm assuming that the fight to help people understand the distinction between sparkling wine and Champagne has been lost.


That the fight to explain the difference (or lack thereof) between Syrah & Shiraz or Pinot Gris & Pinot Grigio, is over.


That the war on the anything-but-chardonnay crowd has been ended by the triumphant anything-but-chardonnay crowd. That they finally won.


I could continue, but I'm tired just thinking about it.


Give me a glass of anything. Tell me the truth. Sit down with me and talk about your problems. Talk about anything.


Just don't talk about wine.


I'm going back to bed.





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