Donald Trump and the Natural Wine Debate
Posted by Tom Wark on Aug 25, 2015
Early this morning while Henry George and I were enjoying a bottle of milk and a cup of coffee, respectively, we watched a talking head on CNN discuss presidential candidate Donald Trump. The head said this: “Trump is often careless with the truth and makes sweeping statements that have no basis in fact, but he is being bold and people like that.”
Henry George heard that, looked at me, furrowed his brow and went back to his bottle.
I thought about Henry George’s brow furrrowing when I read Jamie Goode’s defense of Natural Wine in an article in the new Asia-based wine lifestyle publication, Le Pan. In defending Natural Wine, Jamie wrote this:
“Consumers apparently love natural wines. The only people who don’t seem to are self-appointed arbiters of taste with letters after their names – expensively educated experts who feel threatened because their MW studies didn’t prepare them for anything unorthodox.”
“Sadly, many wine ‘authorities’ aren’t adventurous and have forgotten that wine is supposed to be about enjoyment.”
“Most importantly, the natural-wine movement has caused conventional winemakers to reconsider their approach.”
I’m not suggesting Jamie Goode is the Donald Trump of wine writing. I’m not suggesting Jamie Goode
is running for president (though at this point I might vote for him).
However, what the talking head pointed out about Donald Trump’s various statements is equally true of Jamie Goode’s written statements on “Natural Wine”.
Some consumers love natural wine. Numerous MWs are very happy with the unorthodox as well as the orthodox and Jamie knows this. There is no evidence that wine “authorities” are not adventurous. And of course “conventional” winemakers are the source of each and every technique that the “natural” winemakers now employ and champion as their own.
Let me see if I have this straight. Most respected critics, with or without initials after their names, judge wine blind. To do otherwise is to prejudge it to some extent. So, wine, for them, is obviously about enjoyment, because no critic worth his or her salt would be a critic for long if wine were about something other than enjoyment–say how well it goes with music, although, come to think of it, even that measure is about enjoyment.
But, if wine is to be judged by its naturalness or its authenticity or its typicity, without defining the standard for typicity as most “typicisists” do not, then wine is about something other than enjoyment.
In this, Goode misses the point. People do not dismiss natural wine or biodynamic wine or any other wine on the basis of its label. Wine, to almost all of us, is judged by its contents. Goode has created a red herring here, and then attacks it.
And that good-looking blond kid pictured above. Clearly takes after his mother–and would never vote for The Donald.
If Jamie’s comments are quoted verbatim–and I am certain they are, given the fact that you are the source–I am rather disappointed in Mr. Goode. Say it ain’t so, Jamie!
For many years I have furrowed my brow at the thought of self-anoited people dictating through a holier than thou spirit, often based upon a desire to keep memberhsip current in their small PC club, what wine consumers should be drinking for some obscure reasoning. Remember that for years health experts proclaimed the disasterous effects of coffee, now what do we have-A bumper sticker “Got Coffee”. Is it the effects of a swinging pendulum of self righteousness PC police? Being a member of the “progressive” wine protagonist movement must require a secret handshake or a secret phrase uttered through a small hatch opened in a “natural wines” speak-easy.
Yes, I want everybody in love with “natural” wines to keep true to the plucked strings of their hearts. I have drunk “natural” wines to appease friends (trying to get converts) who can’t tell the difference of such wines versus non-natural (whatever that is) wines. Bacchus/Dionysus (god of wine Roman/Greek respectively) were considered gods of a ‘cult’ I assume the Natural Wine movement is not a cult requiring sacrifices beyond throwing personal tastes and preferences to the wind to be policically correct as defined by a cult.
Oh, fer cripe’s sakes, Joe. Take a deep, cleansing breath or something. The stakes are real small here, okay?