Monday, October 21, 2013

The most horrifying article about wine in 2013

It's the "Audition" of wine articles
I like horror movies, but I prefer ones with a low-body count, so the occasional moments of gore are more horrible. Some scenes stay with you for weeks afterward: the bucket of blood in the original "Carrie," the needles from "Audition," the backwards bend in "Paranormal Activity 3."

Reading "3 Reasons Why Wine Tasting Can Help Your Career" from hits the same part of the brain as these horror classics. I'm appalled, terrified, a little nauseated -- but I can't look away, I can't stop thinking about it, and even though I know it's horrible, I want to go back and look at it all over again.

What's more, the horror in this article is tremendously effective in a short time. Even the scariest short films take a few minutes to establish the terror. This story has only 372 words, and yet I can easily list its Top 5 Horrifying Sentences about Wine:
5. In honor of that, I present you with three compelling reasons why learning to love wine can help give your career a leg up.
(Because that's the only possible explanation for starting to drink wine.)
4. Not only was the (wine tasting) club a fantastic social outlet during school, but this carried forward after graduation as a way to get together, network and most importantly share job leads.
(Italics mine. Who joins wine tasting clubs for the wine? Silly rabbit. Did you think book clubs are about the books?)
3. This way, when you are asked if you have any favorite wines, you can answer with an actual vineyard rather than saying something completely generic like “I usually order Pinot Grigio.”
(This after the reasonably savvy advice of taking a smartphone picture of a bottle of wine you like -- and memorizing it. Sort of like trying to get into a classical music fan's pants by learning the names of a few composers.)
2. If you can convince a senior-level person (either within or outside your organization) that you know how to detect hints of oak and vanilla in your wine, you can convince a client to buy what you’re selling.
(Holy crap. You mean all I have to do to become a Senior Vice President is bring overly oaked wine on sales calls? No wonder the economy sucks.)

And if you think that's horrifying, here's the sentence before it:

1. Mastering the ability to describe the core aromas behind a wine can really develop your client service capabilities.
(Kill it! Please, no, it's getting away, it's under the couch, it's right behind you, it's  ... aiiiiiieeee!!)

Experience the horror of this article for yourself. Don't say you weren't warned.

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Patrick Frank said...

Yeah, I agree, it's a horrible story, but I have to tell you that by the end of it I was laughing. Make that howling.

W. Blake Gray said...

I had that reaction at "Return of the Living Dead."

guren said...

"Reading '3 Reasons Why Wine Tasting Can Help Your Career' from hits the same part of the brain as these horror classics. I'm appalled, terrified, a little nauseated -- but I can't look away, I can't stop thinking about it, and even though I know it's horrible, I want to go back and look at it all over again."

Blake, thank you for describing my reaction to the 2013 SF Giants season. Time to re-watch those 2010 and 2012 DVDs.

W. Blake Gray said...

Glenn: I actually did look away, but it's easier for me, as I root for 10% of the teams in MLB.

But I'm with you on the 2012 Series. Red Sox-Cardinals, eccch. I'll watch Prince Fielder being thrown out at the plate again.

Bob Henry said...


Let me offer a more "sanguine" view.

I conceive, organize and conduct wine education seminars for corporations, which wish to instill in their "new business development" employees the self-confidence to entertain clients at favorite watering holes and restaurants.

These newly-minted "professional services firm" executives (management consultants, lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers) are griped by "white knuckle fever" at the very thought of some "C-suite" senior executive handing them the wine list in a tony restaurant and saying: "Would you please order wine for the table?"

(Nothing they learned in grad school.)

Giving them a history of wine, common sensory descriptors of leading grape varieties, and time-tested food and wine pairings in a single two or three hour tutorial is a welcomed experience by them.

(And for some they go on to develop a passion for wine. And through that burgeoning hobby form new friendships with fellow collectors.)

No one wants to look like a "rube" in front of his/her boss -- or client.

Personal anecdote: as an ad agency exec, I guiding -- by cell phone -- a nervous work colleague who flew into Chicago to entertain a major client at Charlie Trotter's: navigating the menu and the daunting wine list. A well-chosen bottle of Williams Selyem "Allen Vineyard" Pinot Noir broke the ice. And the next five bottles ordered for the table only cemented the relationship.

At the end of the evening, the CEO and CMO and CFO and others assembled proudly took home an empty bottle as a "trophy," with the intention of asking their neighborhood wine store to "order them a case."

(Um, gee, I don't think with Williams Selyem that's gonna happen ...)

~~ Bob