Patient: “Doctor, doctor, Claude Rains is in my brains or at least one of his characters is. All day long for the past week my mind has repeated over and over, ‘I’m shocked to learn that people cheat!’”
Doctor: “That’s probably because people do cheat and also because you’ve been told this over and over. When was the last time that you remember someone telling you that people cheat?”
Patient: “Hmm. All this past week.”
1. Decanter magazine reported that an Australian wine writer has written wine tasting notes without ever having tasted the wines. Skinner
2. The Wall Street Journal reported that critics and wine reviewers are just like the rest of us—none of us can accurately reproduce our own tasting notes and ratings. WSJ
3. A Rochester, NY news anchor outed a blatant attempt to pass off paid for advertising as free wine expertise. WHAM
4. The head of the Specialty Wine Retailer’s Association tells us that the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers repeat and repeat lies so that they can maintain their distribution monopoly.
Doctor: “Well, I can see why you might have had this recurring thought in your brain. It seems that much has been going on lately in the wine world—much crap, too.”
Patient: “Doc, it doesn’t bother me so much that there are cheats, mainly because I’ve known it and have been saying it for years to anyone who would listen. Although, I don’t call them cheats; I call it gaming the system, the system being that so many people have no security about their own palates and their own ability to seek out what they like in a wine that they have presented the charlatan class with a fantastic opening.”
Doctor: “Charlatan? Isn’t that a little strident?”
Patient: “OK, call them mountebanks instead. What should we call people who make voluble claims to skill or knowledge? Nice? Honest? Real? Friendly? Of course, there are other words to describe people paid for practicing deception…”
Doctor: “I’m sorry to interrupt, but your time is up. We’ll talk about this next time. Ok?”
Patient: “Sure. I’ve got to go anyway. I heard about a great deal on a Parker 95 that a retailer has on his shelf for a price that is too low to pass up, even if the 95 was issued for a previous vintage of that wine…”
Doctor: “Do you mean that retailers also cheat?”
Patient: “I didn’t say that. I don’t pay you to put words or anything else into my mouth.”
Doctor: “Oh, but you do. However, like a wine geek, you don’t like to face reality.”
If you are reading this entry anywhere other than on the vinofictions blog, be aware that it has been lifted without my permission (and without recompense), and that’s a copyright infringement, no matter that the copyright information appears with it.
Copyright Thomas Pellechia
November 2009. All rights reserved.