The rest of the 70’s and into the early 80’s were spent ensconced at the University Of Texas School of Business finishing my undergraduate business degree, MBA degree and teaching undergraduate business classes. Wine, however, remained a growing fascination. Those years were lean. Odd jobs generated what little spending money I had. Once, my prospects were so bleak, I even took a job catching live snakes at night for a campus area pet store and the occasional rattler for a university science project. Wrestling rattlers on the end of a snake stick is a bit off the wall and frightening. But I needed some, as we say, walkin’ around money, and hell, this is Texas. Finally, I ended up with a desk job at an insurance agency. At least that was safe from venomous reptiles. During this time I also received a small university paycheck as I continued my position as an instructor at the UT Business School. Certainly, not the income needed for a fine wine collection or even much consumption, but we did our best.
If you didn’t get that pleasant buzz with your favorite glass of wine, would your still enjoy the wine as much? Would you drink at all? Or would guaranteed sobriety be a gift, allowing you to enjoy more wines without intoxication and hangovers from overindulgence?
A “sobriety pill” may be on the way according to an article in New Scientist (Read Here). Researchers believe extracts from a Chinese variety of the oriental raisin tree could be the answer. Chinese drinkers have used the extract for over 500 years to reduce the effects of hangovers.
I call myself a “Wine Evangelist.” Most who spend time around me would agree with that moniker, as I merrily move through life aiming to convert as many as possible to the gospel of the grape. I admit I am a zealot, one who loves to speak of nothing other than wine.
My role as self-appointed Wine Evangelist is simple. I live to teach about wine as art and as an expression of passion. Within each bottle I revel in the nuance and flair created by both vineyard and winemaker. Before we get too deep here, not all good wine is expensive and not all expensive wines are good. Yes, there are wines that should be admired as art and others that are made to enhance your backyard BBQ party. The key word here is, enhance. Nothing in my opinion elevates food, friends and family like wine. Wine just makes life better.
Recently, I attended a reception luncheon hosted by an Argentinean winery and winemaker at a popular downtown Denver restaurant. The eight people sitting around our table were equally divided between 30-somethings and 50-somethings. The question came up: why wine? The younger wine enthusiasts all had a similar story to tell which included the fact that they had been exposed to good if not great wine during their formative years and wine had always been a part of their life experience.
The other four also had similar experiences but they were different from the 30-somethings. Only one of the mature guests was raised around wine and he, of Italian decent, had been raised on cheap Italian jug wine. Since my experience was not uncommon for my generation, I’ll share with you the unlikely conversion of a wine evangelist.
In the immortal words of Carol Ann Freeling in Poltergeist II “They’re Back.” Yes they are back and just as scary as before. The House of Representatives Bill H.R. 5034 or as my fellow blogger Tom Wark has titled it, The Wholesaler Protection Act, has been resurrected just last week as H.R. 1161.
Your Wine Rights Are Under Attack!!! Stop H.R. 1161.
Snooth.com recently posted a very thought provoking article on the “Shrinking Gap Between Wineries and Consumers.” The article states that over 90% of wine in America is sold by retailers. The writer goes on to make the point that many wine drinkers crave a “connection” with the wines and wineries they enjoy. The fact that we even spend the time to write and produce Bacchus and Beery is clear testament to that observation. But because most of the wine we buy is sold by a retailer or sommelier based on price, availability and convenience; that “winery connection” we crave can be hard to make.