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WINE AND FOOD WEDNESDAY
01/04/2012
Wine and Food Wednesday
In Which I Resolve, I Vow, To Never Eat Again

By Stephen Eliot

I am seriously thinking about giving up eating. As I sit here with my morning “cup of Joe”, I am far more inclined to search out “food for thought” then another meal. I am contemplating the new year ahead and feeling the journalistic wheels groan and grudgingly start to turn.

I suppose, however, as far as the blogosphere and intellectual sustenance goes, I wish the menu was longer and more interesting. 2012 is starting out right where 2011 left off with a flurry of opinions about the 100-point scale, alcohol levels, “authenticity”, “manipulation” and the fuzzy grail of terroir…and what is or is not going on at the Wine Advocate. I wonder what new controversies will take their place, what new bricks will be hurled. I am sure that in the course of the year, I will pick a few up and throw them back in the direction whence they came, but I confess to being bored by argument and pledge to look for truth in the glass not in debate.

My own January resolution is to embrace the education of experience rather than rhetoric. That is where the excitement exists.

No litmus tests, no a priori assumptions. No assumptions of winemaker intent and talent based on alcohol numbers or if the wine was produced by an acolyte of one of a host of natural, sustainable, organic, biodynamic “religions”. Don’t get me wrong, I am interested and intellectually curious in the hows and whys of grape growing and winemaking , but, at the end of the day, I happen to believe that good is good and crap is crap regardless of how it is created.

I want to be surprised and renewed. I want to be entertained and seduced. I want to be inspired. That, after all, is what great wine is all about. Oh, I expect disappointment and maybe even a bit of heartache along the year’s way, but it’s like what they say about being better to have loved and lost. It is how it has been for me from the very beginning, and I do not intend on changing.

I do not in any way feel that great wine is an endangered species poised on the edge of extinction owing to the manipulations of godless scientists who have long sense forgotten the truth to be found in Eden…or in Steiner’s Atlantis. I am no enological Luddite. Neither, however, am I interested in the ocean of industrial plonk that crowds grocery-store shelves. But, at the same time, I do not believe that the latter poses any threat to the wines that I love.

There are more well-made wines available today than ever before, and I intend on tasting all that I can. New producers, new vineyards, new vintages…that is what lies ahead this year, and I have no time to waste in worry and the wringing of hands lest I miss any of them.


 

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