Friday, April 29, 2005

Ostrich Fricassee, anyone?

This Scotsman (UK) article is essentially a review for the film Mondovino (you’ll have to read the article referenced to find out what my title means). Within it hides bits of insight and clarity of larger wine and culture issues that author Kirsty Milne should be lauded for (perhaps even knighted), like…

"The fact that taste is changing cannot be laid at [Robert] Parker’s door. It has more to do with affordable imports from English-speaking countries that have swapped obscure acronyms for bright images of whales and porcupines. As well as new wines, there are new drinkers - single working women, who are largely responsible for driving the increase in UK wine sales. Just as female consumers like different cars, they may prefer different wines."

I don’t think this subject gets anywhere near the amount of attention it should. No, not the parts about whales and porcupines, female buying habits, bright images, or even the use of plain language as opposed to obscure acronyms (though these latter three points are very germane…).
I’ve mentioned before that I feel wine has always been made in some sort of ‘style’, and that wines have evolved with mankind as they’ve traveled, traded, and grown. From that viewpoint wine has been changing and evolving, always volatile in its 'style' since time immemorial. To point a finger at one single man – an individual out of a 5+ billion population! – and then claim he’s the culprit for changing the wine world is absurd. Or a single culture, country, continent, or hemisphere is equally absurd for that matter…

When some group finally moves to a point where they are implicating what appears to be the majority of the wine consumers in the world as the ‘problem’ to support their argument…well, it becomes obvious that they themselves are unclear about what that ‘problem’ is. Perhaps the real issues revolve around fear of change, or lost revenue, etc.
Western cultures (European) are externally based; problems and solutions have always been viewed as coming from outside of the individual, and introspection has never had much place in our thought process when looking for solutions. The arguments in the film are based on that same system...if something is wrong then there must be an external cause...
The trouble with this thinking is that it precludes us from examining what the real root of the problem is (ourselves perhaps?), and we end up subconciously creating external straw dogs to rationalize the cause of our problems.

But enough psycobabble, let's get back to the article.
If you’ve seen the movie or read a lot of reviews already, then perhaps you don’t need to bother with the article in full (although it’s still worth reading)…but please DO read the last 2 paragraphs. In those lines is a point where one of those straw dogs is revealed.

I’m not going to spoil it for you here by pasting more quotes, and I’ll let the title of this post hang until you read Milne’s article…
It’s well worth a read at the
original site.


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April 29, 2005 3:58 PM  

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