No Denying Rational Denial
I get both excited and that daunted feeling when I come across a wonderful, must-read wine blog that hadn’t caught my attention before. Excited because I honestly enjoy finding a smart, well-written, insightful project. Daunted, because now there’s one more blog to add to my ever-growing daily perusal regime.
Nonetheless, Rational Denial, written and maintained by J. David Harden, falls into that category of must read wine blog!
On the surface, Rational Denial is a fun, experimental, cheeky blog that seeks to use casual experimentation to confirm and learn. For example, which wine turns out better? The one that spent the day in a hot car in LA or the identical wine that sat happy in the 55-degree fridge? Or, since so many wines are described as "Appley", what do the various varieties of apples really taste like? Or the classic test of two wines, two winemakers same dirt.
What I like most about Rational Denial is Harden’s writing. It’s good. And it’s better than that vast majority of
writing on the hundreds of wine blogs around the world. Conversational, structured, not too dense, crammed with delightful insights and a diminished sense of self importance. Harden spends his free time as a writer for television and likely other venues, but I can’t be sure which others.
Harden’s take on "Terroir", for example, is perfectly aligned with mine and hard to argue with:
that wonderfully ephemeral and elusive component of wine, that
particular expression of a precise time (vintage) and place (vineyard)
that wine-geeks seek, that magic combination of grape, sun, soil and
rain, that thing called , could be boiled down to this simple observation:
"My mud tastes better than your mud."Or so it seems to me. And I’m no cynic. I believe in terroir. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.I
can’t say I can always find it, even when it’s there. But I believe.
Terroir is a vague and mysterious thing and I possess only a vague and
mysterious idea of what it is exactly. But I believe."
Rational Denial is quite young, as wine blogs go. It was started up just last may. But Harden has kept up his work at a pretty good pace, providing onlookers with regular treats. You’ll learn something, be thinking and leave with a smile on your face after getting a regular dose of Harden’s blog. It needs to be linked to, subscribed to and read.
My, you DO give good introduction! Thank you, Tom, for the very kind and generous review of our early days at the Rational Denial Lab. We’ll certainly be working hard in the coming months to live up to it.
I have to agree, this is a very cool, wonky site. Right up my alley!