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Monday, March 28, 2016

Dr. Harry Oldman on Andy Warhol Wines

Dr. Harry Oldman recently got back into town after spending the past few weeks in Florida to help knock on doors before the March 15 primary. He tells me he had a successful time and drank some fantastic wine, but something has been bothering him. He just had to get this off his chest.


So I've watched the somms. They're terrible actors. I've dealt with them all my life. If you can't sell a good wine as a somm, then there's something wrong with you. You're certainly not very good. And that's what we have selling us wine. They will never make wine great again. They don't even have a chance. They're controlled fullythey're controlled fully by the publicists, by the winemakers, and by the special calendars, fully.

Now, our country needsour country needs a truly great wine voice, and we need a truly great wine visionary now. We need somebody that can take wine and make it great again. It's not great again.

We needwe need somebodywe need somebody that literally will take wine and make it great again. I can do that. And, I will tell you, I love my life. I have a wonderful family. My dog keeps telling me, "You're going to do something that's going to be so tough."

You know, all of my life, I've heard that a truly successful person, a really, really successful person and even modestly successful cannot change the wine industry. Not even a computational physicist. Just can't happen. And yet that's the kind of mindset that you need to make wine great again.

So ladies and gentlemen... I want to make wine great again. We have people that aren't drinking. We have people that have no incentive to drink wine. But they're going to have incentive to change that, because the greatest type of wine is a classic wine. And they'll be proud, and they'll love it, and they'll drink much more than they would've ever drink, and they'll bethey'll be doing so well, and we're going to be thriving as a wine drinker, thriving. It can happen.

How did we get to this point? Why is there so much crap being peddled by sommeliers. Why did Netflix pick Aziz Ansari to star in its new wine documentary, Master of None? How stupid are our sommeliers? How stupid are these sommeliers to allow this to happen? How stupid are they?

Andy Warhol Wine
I'm going to tell youyou're welcome. I'm going to tell you a couple of stories about wine, because I'm totally against natural winesthe wines I call Andy Warhol wines for a number of reasons.

Number one, the people producing them don't have a clue. Our local sommelier doesn't have a clue. He's a bad sommelier. These Andy Warhol wines will be famous for fifteen minutes, and then fade back into the obscurity from whence they came. But the problem with wine is you need really talented people to produce it for you. If you don't have talented people, if you don't have great leadership, if you don't have people that know wine, not just a enological hack that got the job because he knows his way around a bunghole, which is the way all jobs, just about, are gotten, wine produced naturally is terrible. Wine can be wonderful if you have smart people, but we have people that are stupid. We have people that aren't smart. And we have people that are controlled by special calendars. And it's just not going to work.

There are standards; there are rules, established not by authoritarian fogies but by a thousand years of human experience. There’s a reason why “the classics” are the classics. The people I listen tothose authorities that understand human experienceto tell me what to drink. Sure, Napa Valley makes some great Cabernet. Delicious Cabernet. But it's got to be manipulated. You think grapes just magically turn into wine? No, of course not. So, I listen to the experiences of the Dowells and the Steves of the world so I know that I'm drinking real wine, not something different just for the sake of being different. Just because I want to drink classified Bordeaux doesn't make me a classist. I'm the least classist person on Earth.

We've reached a point that any thinks they can make world-class wine. They're building vineyards in the middle of the Santa Cruz Mountains. First there were Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards that produced tomato soup. That's where I get the the Andy Warhol connection. Now the big thing is Pinot noir vineyards. You get a lot of them that are overrated. They're not good. They think they are. They get a good following, because the social media losers get buffaloed. But they're not good.

And I didn't need the the self-proclaimed "Best blogger/online writer (in the world!)" to explain to me that absolutely no wine worth drinking comes from California's central valley. While it may be called California wine, only losers drink that crap. Do I look like a loser? And don't even get me started on wine from the likes of Colorado or Virginia. There's a reason Kluge Estate went belly-up.

I'm a humble guy, but people tell me I've got the classiest wines. Like Jesus, really. That man knows how to prune a vine to make top-notch wine. Seriously, I am the Alpha and Omega of having wine. Mahatma Gandhi wished he had wines like me. I'm the Gandhi of having wines. Natural wines? Not classy. Sweaty. Probably have yeast infections from not wrapping up their corks. I hear that a lot of those Demetered natural winemakers are doing that now. Leaving their bottles naked. Not covering up with capsules. You never see Burgundy without a capsule. Sometimes it takes months to order the perfect capsule, but that's how smart winemakers promote their wines. Tell their customers lies while they wait to get the perfect capsule.

Speaking of Burgundy, you all should know that real Pinot noir comes from Burgundy. I serve the best Pinot noir in my house. The best. The only Pinot noir I have in my cellarit's the largest wine cellar on the East Coastis from Burgundy. And my wife loves it. There’s not a lot of disagreement about what Pinot drink because, ultimately, she drinks exactly as I tell her to do. The only Pinot she'll put in her mouth is my dusty, old Beaune. None of that newfangled Santa Cruz crap. And who'd want have anything to do with Santa Cruz wine? Santa Cruz sounds like a creepy guy scaring small children at the Iowa State Fair. I want to stay as far away from that as I can.

I'm not doing this to brag, because you know what? I don't have to brag. I don't have to, believe it or not. I'm doing this to say that that's the kind of thinking our industry needs. We need that thinking. We have the opposite thinking. We have losers. We have losers. We have people that don't have it. We have people that are morally corrupt. We have people that are selling wine that should go down the drain.

If you have a wine like that, think you like it, but you don't. Maybe a sommelier told you you’re supposed to like it, and therefore you fear that if you don’t like it, you’re not as cool as that sommelier. Well, guess what. That sommelier isn't cool, you're not cool and I'm here to help you. I am a human with experience and I can make wine great again. Stay away from the bizarre. It's not like Andy Warhol's art ever amounted to much. Outliers like Andy Warhol do not last. I hope natural wine dies of cardiac arrhythmia, too.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for that breath of fresh air. It's very nice to hear someone with the same thoughts, and that's rare when you work import and distribute and spend countless hours speaking to countless idiots who think they know a thing or two because they have a certificate in blind tasting parlor tricks and regurgitation of information that isn't the least bit pertinent to wine that's worth drinking.

    I would love to see a follow up on the useless things Somms are taught and how so much of their methodology is worthless for positively contributing to making people drink more delicious booze - regardless of a preferred style.

    Love it!

    Blake R Maso

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