I am a wine lover, but not a wine geek (i.e. interestested in the intricacies of production). I realized this while having dinner with a friend last night at Granville Moore's in DC (which will be another post unto itself). The distinction is that I really couldn't care less about this village versus another, how many hectares, how long the wine sat in oak, whether the harvest happened at night, and so on. It's the winemaker's job to care about all that. Unfortunately this type of recitation has become such a part of wine-speak that I can't seem to avoid it. When reps come by to sample their wines with me I can hardly avoid having my eyes glaze over when I get all the facts and figures of a wine recited to me. I further think that because all of this wine-speak has become such a big part of marketing that people think they have to know about these things and care about them to appreciate wine. It isn't true. You go to the farmer's market and pick up a perfect heirloom tomato and put it in your favorite salad recipe. You eat and savor it. Are you thinking about this farmer's low yields, soil composition and where exactly his farm is located (except maybe to get another tomato)? Probably not, but that tomato is damn good.
My job is to care about taste, number one. Is it delicious? Will it make my food taste better? I care about small production wines because they tend to taste better, take chances with their wine making and support small businesses. That's it. In the end every wine, beer and food memory sticks out because of the sheer pleasure of the moment. Cherished time off, eating a beautiful meal and connecting with people I care about.