02 November 2010
Oenophile sounds like a bad word. Or at least a silly one.
I'm not an oenophile, even if I could keep a straight face while saying it. It's really a very silly word. I don't usually write about food and/or drink outside of my travel postings, but I read something tonight that made me want to share it with my reading public. Even if that reading public is mostly just my mom and my husband. (Hi, y'all. Love you more'n my luggage!)
I'm not particularly sophisticated, but I'm not provincial, either. I got my first passport when I was 18 and I'll be renewing it this year for the second time since then. I've mostly lived in small towns (Petal, MS. Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Winston-Salem, NC. North Hatfield, MA), but I love to travel, and just as importantly, I'm an avid reader. If ever there were two activities that broadened one's mind and one's horizons, they would be traveling and reading. I enjoy drinking alcohol and I've learned to take wine descriptions (and tequila!) with a grain of salt. I understand tannins, acidity, and spices. Woodsy overtones and hints of strawberry I can pick up on, but when the descriptions of wine become outlandish, I'm tempted to laugh out loud.
Tonight I was reading my husband's November 2010 issue of Saveur magazine, in which 48 California wines are touted as being eminently drinkable right now. I turned to that particular two-page spread so that I could note some of their recommendations that are $25 ( or under) to purchase the next time I was shopping. (Most are in the $20-50 range, but some are a whopping $250+). I nearly lost it when I read the descriptions of one bottle in particular.
Said bottle was the Ambyth Estate Maiestas 2008 ($35), described as a "Rhone blend lush with cherries and marshmallow." Umm, excuse me. Did you just say lush with marshmallow? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that if I ordered a glass of wine in a restaurant that tasted like it was lush with marshmallow, I'd send it back, post-haste. Then there is the bottle that is "powerful and musky, delivering a mineral fierceness" (Littoral Hirsch Pinot Noir 2007). Powerfully musky with a mineral fierceness? I'm sorry, but that sounds more like an unfortunate sexual encounter than a good wine. Other are described variously with tar, leather, and smoke. Might as well light up a Marlboro as drink a glass!
Are these people for real? I can't tell. Guess I'd better drink another glass of wine...