Crom’s chosen candidate!
A good number of people, both within the USA and abroad, read this blog. At times, that includes a lot of the U.S. wine biz, but also many wine lovers and wine insiders abroad. This post is dedicated to all of them.
Look, I’m not gonna sugarcoat this, things have been pretty f*cked up since the 2016 presidential election concluded. Yes, a minority of the population of largely white voters actually replaced a wildly popular sitting president with someone who has never held public office, and has an at-best questionable truth-telling record, among many other distasteful episodes of past behavior. Given Clinton’s shaky popularity, and Trump’s, well, everything, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Conan the barbarian” was written in as a viable alternative on a not-insignificant number of ballots this year.
Sadly, there have been crazies emboldened by the outcome of this recent election; I myself had to Facebook-block a few people, the most abusive of which was a Navy serviceman, which is just profoundly messed up. Even sadder, wine writer Eric Asimov was harassed online, presumably because being Jewish, American, and outspoken is somehow viewed as wrong by a very demented few.
So, yeah, when wine writers – a demographic about whom almost nobody should really care passionately unless they have a glass of vino in hand – are getting harassed, then things are definitely very, very f*cked up. While I certainly understand the need for some drinking right now (two nice recommendations on that coming up soon), I don’t think that the results of the recent election should send anyone into total panic mode. Deep concern, yes; panicked terror, no.
Why not? Because America has faced worse adversity than the political divisions that currently plague us, and we’ve always come out better for those experiences; maybe not immediately, but certainly better in the long run.
The president-elect ran on a campaign slogan to make America great again. Having traveled to and/or worked with people in Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, the UK, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Austria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Russia, India, China, and Australia (and that’s not a complete list), I have a bit of a global perspective. And nothing against any of those wonderful places, but there is nowhere that I would rather live than the USA. America is, was, and almost certainly always will be great, not because an elected official tells us so, but because we are a nation that recognizes that we are consistently made better through increased diversity and tolerance, and I have faith that, as such a nation, we have come too far along that path for our course to be permanently diverted. Distracted and delayed, maybe, but not diverted.
At our heart, we’re a band of fighters; we don’t capitulate. Our greatness – our true greatness as a nation – lies in our goodness, and our goodness is almost always in direct proportion to our support of one another, no matter their gender/sexuality/creed/etc.
Hopefully, we can all drink to that; and I’ve got just the wines (from the sample pool) with which to start…
Read the rest of this stuff »
My latest piece for Fix.com was published this week, and it’s geared towards the When, How, and What of gifting booze.
And not a moment too soon, I think, considering that the holidays are nigh upon us, and that you might have many, many friends who are desperately in need of a stiff drink (for example, the majority of the U.S. electorate after last week’s presidential election).
After being asked by Fix.com to write this piece, I was amazed in my research at how little information is readily available when it comes to gifting alcohol.And that’s likely because it’s fraught with opportunities to drop the ornament ball. As I mentioned in the article, “..why all the gift-giving drama when it comes to booze? After all, isn’t this stuff supposed to be fun? The trickiness comes from a combination of history, culture, and subjective personal preference.”
I’m hoping that this little article contribution helps a few of us to brave the puritanical taboos that might otherwise prevent the booze from flowing generously (but responsibly!) this holiday season. Because, you know, I really don’t want people thinking that they can’t gift booze to me.
Anyway, head on over to Fix.com to read Gifting Alcohol 101 and let me know what you think. Crazy-cool Fix.com infographic awesomeness for this installment is, of course, included below after the jump.
Read the rest of this stuff »