I know that you may find me somewhat paradoxical. I have written numerous articles and reviews praising (and when required panning) French, German, and Italian wine and the food to accompany them. I am really happy when I find a successful wine and food pairing, even more so when the pairing is unconventional. I have also written many travel articles that largely focus on local wine and food. Yes it's true; I really do love wine and food. But I also hate wine and many aspects of the wine scene.
Let me explain my top ten reasons for this love-hate relationship. The unconscionable expense was already discussed in article one of this series. Reason number two is the embarrassing lack of knowledge: Not long ago one member enlivened our wine-tasting group by asking us to identify a white wine in a blind tasting.
First, I guessed that it was a Viognier. Wrong. Then I proposed Gewuertztraminer. Wrong again.
I am able to name white wine varieties until the cows come home, especially if I get a late start, but unfortunately that wasn't the objective. One of our members correctly identified the variety on her first shot; it was a South American Torrontes. That might have been my thirty-seventh guess.
Let me salvage my pride by informing all and sundry that I have definitely heard of Torrontes grapes and even tasted Torrontes wine. (Maybe I would have been better off by pretending that I never ever tasted this grape.) I even know that it comes from South America. And, just for the record, she didn't and probably couldn't tell us if the grapes came from the south side of the field. But then again neither could I.
In the good old days a budding wine expert would learn a series of rules, such as white wine goes with fish, fine French wines are X.while fine California wines are Y. and that was that. Actually, like most nostalgia, the international wine situation was never quite so simple. But keeping up with today's wine world is markedly more complicated, even when compared with ten years ago. Dozens of countries have the gall to produce excellent wines in a multitude of styles.
I really wish they would stop their ceaseless innovation and give me a few decades to catch up. Here are the other reasons: No wine cellar I can't get the . bottle opened The insomnia Food problems Wine snobs Those smells and those tastes Those colors Home brew One more problem and yes The Solution.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but between you and me, he prefers drinking fine German, Italian, or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and the right people. He knows what dieting is, and is glad that for the time being he can eat and drink what he wants, in moderation. He teaches various classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his new wine, diet, health, and nutrition website www.wineinyourdiet.com and his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com .