Canada Wins

Northern Lights

Late on a Sunday night, and I see a kid walking through our neighborhood with baggy pants he can barely hold up, a hoody covering his head, blasting loud music through his headphones.

Did I shoot him?


I pointed out the huge Northern Lights explosion I was starting at behind him. He said “Wow, that’s beautiful. I’m from Florida, I’ve never seen that. Wow.”

We all marveled for a minute, and then he said “Thanks, take care. Have a good night.”

Another father, in another city may have had a different reaction seeing a person like that wandering through his quiet suburban community.

Not in Canada.

Wine Labels Are Bullshit

20090927 petaluma - 04Wine packing the shelves at Petaluma Market – Buzz Bishop

If wine tasting is bullshit, then it follows the naming of wines has to be full of it too.

Marketing. It’s all about marketing. I’ve said before how the design of a wine label will influence our eyes before our tongues even get a taste. Now the naming of wines is messing with our brains as we walk the aisles.

Check out the names of a few wines I spotted on the shelves of wine retailers in Napa and Sonoma, you’d think TS Elliot was involved in the creation of some of these Rum Tum Tuggers. While some of the best wines in the world graced the shelves, sitting alongside the likes of Monogamy, Promisqous, Purple Cowboy, Middle Sister, Wandering Grape, Evil, Poizon and Merlot Over And Play Dead.

None of them carry the prestige or elegance of the grand houses of Bordeaux or the stars of Napa, but they do carry that microbrew counter culture cache that has become popular.

20090926 napa - 06 20090927 petaluma - 05 20090926 napa - 04 20090926 napa - 03 20090926 napa - 02 20090927 petaluma - 06

It’s a tiny little middle finger at the wine industry proving what’s on the outside matters just as much as what’s on the inside.

Yes, the naming of wines, like wine tasting, is bullshit.

The Blog According to Buzz. Spread the word, ya heard?

Wine Tasting Is Bullshit

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St Clement Tasting Room – by Buzz Bishop on Flickr

With apologies to Penn and Teller, it is – it really is.

Just as with galleries that hang fingerpaintings from 4 year olds that have critics wagging, wine is all about ritual, mystique and a whole bunch of nonsense.

The swirling. The sniffing. The tasting. The spitting.

Wine tasting is like poetry class. Back in high school you’d take a few dozen words on a page and craft imagery, and deep meaning from just a few scattered syllables.

The same happens with wine. But let’s be honest – it either tastes good, or it doesnt. You either like it, or you don’t.

Sure it’s a fun puzzle to find the leather and clove and cherry and citrus that the tasting notes so boldly declare are hidden somewhere in your glass, but does it matter?

Wine tasting, is bullshit – and I’m loving every single sip of it!

The Blog According to Buzz. Spread the word, ya heard?

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