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TUESDAY TRIBUTES
06/07/2011
Tuesday Tributes
Trash Talk Tuesday

By Charles Olken

Some wine blogs never engage in politics talk. Some do. We are among those who do not. Today, we make an exception.

It is hard enough trying to keep up with all the wine in the world, and besides, what does a person’s politics have to do with how well he or she makes wine? Sometimes it is hard to avoid the subject, of course, because it will come up at the oddest times like the dinner we were attending and the host and winemaker made some off-color comments that offended some people in the room. It does not matter whether he was advocating sending his pickers back to Mexico or taking all the land away from the plutocrats and giving it to the pickers. It was out of context.

So, maybe I won’t talk politics. Not my bag, really. Oh, I have opinions. I know who I like and don’t like for their politics. I know whose taxes I want raised and whose cut. But don’t touch my Medicare. Seriously.

Still, on a day like today, when the political news is the stuff of high comedy, it is so tempting to break my rules and jump in. After all, I grew up in Boston, and I “know” the story of Paul Revere. I’m not kidding. Every school age child in Boston knows the story of Paul Revere. He was as famous when I was a kid as Ted Williams and Bobby Orr. We all had to memorize the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride”. It must have been true or they would not have made us learn it.

“Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

One if by land and two if by sea and I on the opposite shore will be.”

There’s more, and frankly, I have not even thought of those words for years now. But they came flooding back, and amazingly I still remember them. Which leads me to this political observation—all candidates for President should memorize Longfellow’s poem before submitting to press interviews in Boston. It would save a lot of embarrassment, and you can predict that, as surely as the sun rises in the east, the question will now become asked every time a would-be President steps foot in the Bay State.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s talk photography for a moment. For years, all of the photography in Connoisseurs’ Guide was the product of the editors. We would lug heavy camera bags with all kinds of lenses around with us on every trip to wine country. That all changed, of course, with the advent of digital photography. At first, we bought all new cameras, and then newer and better versions. But, in all that time, we never took a picture of ourselves in our underwear or posed topless with our pseudo muscles hanging out. The next time one of these silly guys in Congress gets a hankering to take a picture, I suggest he go out to wine country. On the whole, the world would rather look at the landscape then their puny bodies.

I can’t afford to shop at Tiffany’s—or at Harlan, Bond or Screaming Eagle for that matter. But, if they will just extend me a line of credit, I can upgrade the contents of my wine cellar in a flash. No more searching through the pages of Connoisseurs’ Guide for the Best Buys so I can save a few bucks. I want the best, and all it takes apparently is a little credit. Sign me up.

Well, there you have it. Even when I try to talk politics, I come back to wine. Let’s tell those folks back in Washington to mellow out and to open up the wine shipping laws for everyone. Now, there’s some politics I do understand.


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