well-rounded drink(er)s, part one

so, a small side note: i lied. i did not get any extra work done this past week. i spent the entire weekend and monday face planted to my pillows, imagining i was dying during the brief moments i was lucid. yesterday i dragged myself into work and almost made it through the whole day. that almost did me in for the evening, so nothing got done then. that said, i had sushi for lunch, so today is already looking a bit better.


now for the real(ish) stuff:


i've just about always been confused about wine. not whether to drink it or not (i like wine, enough said.), or what it is, or what the difference is between reds or whites or any of that nonsense. i'm always confused why a good deal of the people who consider themselves "wine drinkers," many of whom otherwise are perfectly nice and generous people with lovely senses of humor, turn into complete insert-expletive(s)-heres.

this has struck me more and more as i've become what i consider myself to be a basically well-rounded drinker. i like wine. i also like beer. and mixed drinks. ciders hot or cold are always welcome.  i've been know to take a shot or two. but i'm not limited to alcoholic drinks. when i say well-rounded drinker, i really do mean it. i like tea and coffee. i don't love lemonade, but if i have to, i'll manage. i'm drinking water while i'm writing this. pretty much, i like beverages.

drinks (alcoholic or non) are easy compared to food. it is far more unlikely i'll run into an ingredient in a drink i dislike than in a food. and when you do find something you dislike in a beverage, it's rare you rule out an entire category of drinks. (unless you're my older sister and it's an allergy and then red wine is never on the table.) with food, if we dislike something, we hunt it out in menus like the ingredient is some sort of secret biological weapon the chef is trying to sneak guerilla-warfare-style onto our plates and into our mouths. who hunts through a menu asking "was this flavored with red-98345? because i only like red-34576 flavoring." that would just be silly, now wouldn't it?

last week, just as my father was getting better and i was getting worse, we sat down and watched john cleese's wine for the confused. having grown up watching monty python and a fish called wanda and other such cleese classics (alliteration. right there. cleese classics. there it is again, just in case you didn't notice it the first time. on a totally irreligious note, one i'm sure someone will scowl at me or scold me for later, who else just noticed john cleese's initials are jc? the bible suddenly makes sense to me. by the way, the painkillers may not have worn all the way off yet.) and vaguely remembering seeing him host a documentary about the human face, i had some hope that jc's wine for the confused would be a bit more interesting than the wine documentaries foisted on tourists at most vineyard tours. (you know you  go on those tours for the wine tasting, anyway. you're not fooling anyone. though, the gigantic wine barrels are impressive.) happily, the film was immensely better than it's competitors. (i'm thinking of a genie-inspired one i saw in israel as i write this. you know who you are if you saw it with me.)

when i first tried to start writing about this film on saturday, in my groggy state of mind i came up with such lame sentence/blog openers as "jc's wine for the confused is the best wine documentary you will probably never see and will probably forget about having never seen it after reading this post." besides just sounding dumb and not making too much sense, that would have been a run-on sentence and a poor intro. (instead i just told you about my health. sooo much more interesting.) but the truth is, there is some accuracy to that muddy run-on. jc's wine for the confused is very good. and, unless you make a specific point to add it to whatever movie queue you use, you probably will never see it. and, especially if your memory's not so hot, you'll probably forget about it altogether after you finish reading it.

what makes this film stand out isn't so much the information given, but the spirit in which it's given. the main focus of the film isn't to confuse it's audience or alienate them or cast them down to a lower strata because of their lack of knowledge, but to level the playing field and attempt to rid the world of wine snobs. ridding any part of the food world of pretentiousness, in my mind, is a noble cause. instead of overly focusing on facts and price tags, jc focuses on words and breaking down fear barriers. he emphatically believes that by being able to describe what you taste - whether you like it or not - and finding words to describe those flavors will help you find future wines you might like and open up all tasting experiences. and that no person should tell you what you should or should not like. that's up to you. all of which, i fervently agree with.

the general information was all good stuff, and besides the basic differences of types of wines, there were facts like we’re drinking our whites too cold and our reds too warm. good things like that. but i’ve lost half of my train of thought here, so i’ll leave as a to-be-continued-and-maybe-be-discussed-more-coherently-later-post.


sorry dad, you’re suggestion to write like i was still in school scared the sensible writing out of me.