The Wraths of Grape: Overthinking Wine

Editor’s Note: We’re not sure why this page on Poseidon Cooks! sometimes attracts some fringe elements. But here we are. First we presented the rants of the Furious Foodie. Now we’d like to present another mysterious writer who has turned up on our doorstep, a wine aficionado who has agreed to be known under the nom-de-blog “Grape.” In a clever turn of phrase, (at least, we think so) we’re going to call his rant THE WRATHS OF GRAPE. Here’s the first, all about overthinking wine.

Overthinking Wine
By Grape

I’d introduce myself to you properly, but I don’t have time. Unlike many people who write blogs, I have a real job, and it’s an important one, I might even say a domestically vital one. That’s why I need to write this under a pseudonym. It’s only fair to admit, however, that I also have a great passion for wine that can eclipse all else. Let me uncork a few ideas for you.

We live in an over-engineered world. I can’t write this article without using a $1400 piece of polished aluminum hardware. You and I are likely to drive our $30,000 machines to the store to pick up a $3 loaf of bread. The great beauty of wine, on the other hand, is that it’s engineered to the perfect degree. Grapes, time and skill are the primary ingredients and the balance among them is poetry. To over-engineer wine is to destroy it, creating abominations like wine coolers and carbonated Sake.

So when I hear about people inventing things like electric corkscrews – the kind with a display screen and which need to be recharged – it makes me yearn for the Stone Age when the primary entertainment was writing on cave walls in your underwear. I say if you have a problem pulling a cork from a bottle of wine using your own brute strength, try vitamins, working out, or just drink beer.

There’s talk that boxed wine is making a comeback. This is about as welcome as a Jimmy Carter comeback. Remember wine in those big waxy boxes? Just thinking of it brings me back to the days of long lines for gasoline, double-digit inflation and super-wide ties. The argument for boxed wines is that they are better for single drinkers because the packaging can ensure that the wine inside doesn’t oxidize, as it is free of air contact. Well, if you are drinking your wine alone out of a box, you need to make some friends. Worry less about air contact and more about human contact. The point of wine is that it’s a social beverage. The person you’re sharing it with is what makes the wine taste so good.

The only good red wine is a really big red wine that knocks you off your chair and well into the parking lot. That, I suspect, is the primary thought in back of most sommelier’s brains when they recommend expensive bottles to me. With a slightly superior air, they bring out the sledgehammer Cab, the monster Bordeaux, or the high-sugar Zin. All I want is advice and I’m getting insulin shock. I am a subversive, as you have figured out by now, and I have found that I prefer an under-the-radar and under-rated Cabernet Franc or plain jane Syrah that nobody’s heard about. I’m always looking for recommendations, so if you have any, I’m listening. (You can comment below.)

That’s it for now. If I have offended a scant few of you with this rant, I am sorry. Had I more time to write, I would have offended more of you.

Sweetly yours,


Photo credit: Paul Aloe via Creative Commons License.