I’ve been invited to be an Editor for the FeedFeed — an interwoven website linking cooks cooking away in our kitchens with recipes from around the globe. I am thrilled. It’s a regular site I use when cooking (like Epicurious). And a one-stop place of inspiration. I’ll be introducing and editing posts with my ‘straight talk’ about wine, pairings, cooking with wine… Reader friends, you already know how candid I am about Wine. How I think of Wine as people, as body types. Loathing pretensions enshrouding this most democratic of beverages. That whores have been drinking wine for as long as Queens. If not longer.
Minestrone on the stove, I sit down to write for the FeedFeed today and wonder if more readers want that shiny verbage used by so many wine labels and sommeliers. That people are more comfortable with scores and snobbery. That my honesty may be too unfamiliar. Cheap or pricey, Wine represents soil, weather patterns, sweat, and beer. I feel our callouses and see our face lines knowing a bottle of wine represents YEARS of work. A full year to grow. Months to ferment. 24-36 months to barrel-age and even more to bottle age. Many thousands of dollars just to bottle… And yet, here I am tasked with suggesting wine varietals with gorgeous foods cooked in a single night most ways across this globe of ours. I find this challenge fun and exciting. But I also feel that it is important to urge us all to reclaim our glasses from the snobbery and falsehoods perpetuated by my industry (just like we’ve done our plates). Shaming that lie that all wine is good for you. It is NOT. All wine is NOT created equal (read and how to check.) And as I go about my editing for this very worthy website, I urge us all to drink good wine ($20 USD and above) and learn about what is in our stemware like we’ve learned to be consciencous about what is in our food and on our plates. To buy local, support farmers, and eat organically whenever possible.
Without formal training in enology, I can only offer my truths and what I’ve learned through my Wolverine boots-clad cellar work, owning a winery, growing grapes, and listening to people much, much smarter than me. And yet, my former life in politics was all about people. Influencing me even now to still think of Wine in terms of people and body imagery. How our perfect, rare Cabernet Franc is a “curvy ballerina” spinning with breasts and muscular legs in her burgundy hued tutu. How 100% Cabernet anywhere reminds me of an industrial train conductor — all scrawny brawn and long distance squinting. Buttery Chardonnay brings Julia Child to mind, every single time — all 6’3 of her enjoying that first, life-changing, big butter bite of Sole Muenier. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc being your athletic, globe trotting best friend — all sunshine and freckles, friendly everywhere. Pinot Noir, the “lipstick” of the group — lush and sensuous. And Zinfandel? (Red, never white) boasts all the sexy spicing of an erotic belly-dancer.
Proactive, conscientous drinking is a good thing. Taking time and focus before enjoyment. My visions may make sense only to me. And I likely won’t use them often when writing. But I urge you all to reclaim wine and your individual understanding of wine to make it your own. If you want to buy anything, I 100% endorse buying Dr. Ann Noble”s WINE AROMA WHEEL. She has codified every flavor and aroma in all wines into one laminated disc. Teaching your brain and tongue to speak English to each other. (Buy a few and take as house-warming gifts or start a Wine Group to learn new varietals each meeting (taste 5-8 wines each time). I keep mine tucked away next to my measuring cups and cheese grater for easy access. Also, Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Wine Course is top-notch.
Writing tonight, I wish I had a list of you what you thought for guidance. How do you drink Wine? Pair it? What would like to know? Please tell me. I’d love to know.