>And Please Don’t Do This, Either

>There’s this new one I get all the time, and – surprise! – it really pisses me off.
It’s this: How come you know so much about wine?

I get this from probably 1-2 guests per night, or 4-6 per week. It’s like a UTI that just won’t clear up. You start to feel relaxed again, the wincing pain in the vajayzer has begun to subside and then – WHAMMO. How come you know so much about wine?

Lists calm me down, so here’s a list of Reasons This Makes Me Crazy:

1) I don’t know so much about wine. You just know that little. And that’s okay, but what you are implying by How Come…? is that I shouldn’t know something you don’t, OR that wine is a subject upon which you think you should be an expert, and therefore, it’s bewildering that you aren’t, even though you read Wine Spectator in your podiatrist’s office.

2) Because it’s my job. What do you do for a living? Well gosh, I hope you know some shit about it.

3) Because I give a care. I realize that in this town, most servers are stoned, hungover, or between 12-step meetings, but I do it because I stupidly believe in the restaurant I work for, and I stupidly believe I can change someone’s life by getting them to drink Lagrein from Alto Adige instead of California Merlot. Stupid stupid stupid.

4) If you walk into a nice-looking restaurant with a “challenging” menu that changes daily and a wine list full of names you’ve never heard of, chances are, you’re not at a fucking Burger King. Are you really surprised that the server knows “so much about wine”? How about the fact that they know the steak is dry-aged, the difference between a rabbit rillette and rabbit confit, and where the oysters are from? Is that shocking to you?

5) Oh yeah, stop asking me “REAL RABBIT?” as if that’s the craziest thing you’ve ever heard of. Well, it probably is if you eat at Burger King all the time.

6) Every single person who asks me why I know so much about wine totally ignores my advice anyway. Then they ask me a series of even dumber questions designed to give them a chance to participate, like “What’s your favorite? Mine’s La Crema;” or “I bet you’re a red girl, huh?” Shut up and drink what I told you to get and let’s have a conversation about that instead. It’s going to be much more interesting than whatever brilliant gem you gleaned from the latest mid-rate freelancer’s article in GQ.
<– Is totes down with Lagrein. “It’s so plummy but not overly extracted, and the long, lean, herbal finish is tits!”

The long story is: I “know so much about wine” because I have an obsessive-compulsive attraction to things that can be classified. I did all this because I love to learn and because I use it in my profession, and want one to benefit from the other. And if you’re going to do anything – stuff envelopes, catch fish, sell wine, make wine – go big or go home.

So quit asking me stupid questions, dispense with your weird hang-ups and insecurities and drink the “weird” Lagrein.


About emc

Out beyond any ideas of right-doing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you in it.
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5 Responses to >And Please Don’t Do This, Either

  1. JD. says:

    >In the first place, Ms, I was under the impression that Robert Parker had 'popularized' big fruit bomb wines, not 'oaky' wines (this, I know, re: a more recent post). As you can imagine, I have a hard time believing I'm wrong, though I'm prepared for you to tell me I'm mistaken in this instance.In the second place, I'm not sure whether to weep or laugh aloud at your 'mid-rate GQ freelancer' jibe. I mean, if that's mid-rate for a freelancer, where are the prestigious gigs? No wonder you sneer so at every local publication (along with the fact that most of them are shite, admittedly). I can't wait to see where your next freelance piece shows up – hopefully you'll introduce me to the editor?(Finally – I did promise to acknowledge your genius in print, as reward for that favour you did for me. And you are clearly a genius).

  2. emc says:

    >JD: 1) He's done both. He's a huge oak fiend, especially of the toasted variety, and seems to be in abject terror of tasting anything you wouldn't find in the study of some old-money Aryan. Beets? Cardamom? Green notes?? Heavens to Mergatroid!2) Do both. Laugh and weep. It makes me a more powerful writer. I've read the most unqualified wine writing in the big wine magazines to be sure, but more frequently within the Condé Nast empire and its ilk. Then again, most of the readers will find it informative and relevant to their lives, like I do with National Geographic's coverage of science, which my physicist brother finds achingly simplistic.I should be willing to do things for money, but I'm an asshole and will die penniless and with only my principles to mourn me. 3) For the record, everyone, that favour was not what you think it was.

  3. emc says:

    >And it's "Mrs." now!

  4. Mtully1101 says:

    >oh how i long to come sit in your restaurant and have you feed me wine after wine after wine that i've never heard of but that fits me perfectly

  5. emc says:

    >You have no idea what a light that shines in my ever darkening cave of cynicism. Also, you can't. I've been fired.

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