27 October 2008

27Oct-NYTimes article on a wine-oriented comic book

I'm torn a bit. I like the idea of making wine more accessible but I'm getting this trendy vibe off of the article. And what if it encourages people to drink certain wines before they, the drinker, are ready for them? Especially considering how much they seem to push French wine. I keep thinking of the gallons of irreplaceable wines being drunk without layered, nuanced enjoyment. I've guided customers, palates tired from enthusiastic drinking, away from some of the better wines we offer because it would just be a damn shame to watch something delicate and precious slurped down to keep a buzz going.
But it's a new culture and a new generation introduced to wine. And the more people who drink it and start to understand it, the less people might perceive it as a haughty beverage. And the article would suggest that much of it is about gaining wine knowledge and enjoying it on a visceral as well as intellectual level with the use of a non-traditional, more approachable (and perhaps more honest?) vocabulary.

And it's refreshing that they love French wine as much as they do. I like what Yuko Kibayashi (one half of the brother/sister team that writes the comic) has to say on the subject of American versus French wines:

“They’re too simple. Wines are like human beings. The first time you meet, instead of being all smiles and wanting to become friends right away, there has to be some formality, some conversation, before gradually becoming close. When you open an American bottle, it’s all big smiles.”

Maybe it's a Asian thing; I don't know. But that's how I like my people and my wine. I find I'm suspicious of someone who's too friendly and open when I first meet them. More often than not I end up part of a sales pitch.

Anyway, here's the article:

Next Week, Our Hero Chooses a M├ędoc

This is not the hero.

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