Thursday, May 6, 2021

Explore - Experience - Evolve

Our post title comes from the side of a wine box that just came in the door.  Kudos to whoever thought to sequence those words that way and then to apply them to wine appreciation.  

You wouldn't think boxes would be in short supply in the beverage industry since everything comes packed in them, but they are.  After a single use they apparently get discarded.  The large distributors in Atlanta have had to purchase boxes for re-packing loose bottles for smaller orders.  Our "Explore - Experience - Evolve" box is one of those in-house creations for one of the huge players in Atlanta so maybe the admonition was meant to apply to beer, liquor or something else.  Anyway, we like it.

We first dipped or toes into the wine business back in 1976 while doing the student thing in northern California.  Back then in that neck of the woods the wine business was really the California wine business.  The store I worked in had imports, to be sure, but the California wines were clearly front and center both on the floor and in the California consciousness.  I'm sure Georgia and Georgians support the the peanut and Vidalia onion industry the same way.

I'm a peanut lover and I'm fond of onions but I wouldn't consider myself a connoisseur.  But if, say, I was really locked into Spanish peanuts, I hope I would venture out occasionally to try other types.  Onions, in general, are great.  The only ones to avoid, in my opinion, are the ones that have been around too long.  Whew!  

I do like stinky wines though.  I mean I like the dry earthy reds of Tuscany or Spain that haven't been cleaned up for the American market.  The Spanish stuff always came naturally for me for some reason; Tuscany was a taste I had to acquire.  One time I told a supplier of this affinity I had and he brought in a half dozen of the stinkiest wines I ever tasted.  They were so ripe they were probably tainted.  He wanted me to stock them in my store.  Yeah, right.  If they were too much for me who claims to like such things, how could I in good conscience sell them to others. 

So if I like stinky wines then, following the dictum on the box, I should try the really-cleaned-up wines made by the mass marketers from California.  And I have.  And they are good.  Much better than that kind of thing was back in the 1970's.  But they lack distinction in the same way the overproduced music of Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles did back then when compared to something like The Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore East.

It's a business though and you have to go with what sells.  But if you ever try that thing that is different from your usual, then at least you then have an understanding of what that thing is.  Maybe that thing isn't what you like.  Or maybe by trying it that one time you will remember it at a future time when your meal seems to call for just that wine.  Maybe you evolve.

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