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Backpack Journal

Fine Wine, Tacos and The Dude

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Certain parts of the wine industry (usually not winemakers) seem intent on doing something silly: making wine a product of the elite, something elusive and hard to understand. It’s true, wine can be complicated. But for most of us, it doesn’t need to be. What you enjoy is good wine and what you don’t is bad. Really that is all wine drinkers need to know … unless you want to bore and annoy your friends at parties or annoy people who work at wine shops. These pastimes can, of course, be fun but ultimately everyone will hate you and you will end up sad and alone, crouched in a corner, clutching a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

One analogy that works easily for discussing “good” vs. “bad” wine is food. A seven course meal in a fine dining establishment is a culinary experience. Every now and again its très magnifique. But most of the time you just want a taco. Tacos are delicious. They are single serving. You can put them in your pocket (although this is inadvisable). 

Most people are not going to have/want a seven course meal every single day. Likewise most of us do not want/can’t afford a $100 bottle of wine every day. What we want is a quality wine we can just pop open with no special occasion in mind — but, of course, it still has to taste good. 

Another good analogy is movies. Sometimes you want to watch “Gandhi” and other times you want “The Big Lebowski.” One might move you into a life of pacifism and self sacrifice. The other might make you want to go bowling. Both are perfectly acceptable paths in life; both movies are perfectly acceptable to watch … with a taco and a can of fine wine. #grabapack