A case for our perspective.
It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. It has also been said that sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me. While there may be some truth to these childhood phrases the harsh reality is that always being right is not always how to win friends and influence people. Also, it has been pointed out to us that some people get offended and hurt by being corrected, and in this day and age of thin-skinned and political correctness we are sometimes at the wrong end of a wagging finger. By and by though it has also been said to never bring a knife to a gunfight.
The smoking gun is our smoking tongues that sometimes may not be building bridges but burning them down. Sarcasm and pointing out the obvious inaccuracies and misinformation some spew is kind of an unofficial pastime of ours. We know this is not polite public behavior but when the stupid are sharing misinformation like its gospel we sometimes cannot help ourselves. We do not try to be the accuracy police but when you know the information being spewed is rubbish it sometimes gets the better of us. It only worsens when they argue with the first gently delivered corrections. Look, it does not have to be just wine-related, but ignorance-related and oh, by the way, we are far from experts in any field, but...
To those, we have corrected, and to some of you, we apologize. Ok ok, (wives looking over our shoulders) we apologize to everyone even if we were right. Sorry, we apologize to everyone even if some of you deserved it... well, you get the picture!
So we try to be kind but sometimes there is an elephant in the room and it needs to be pointed out, and we are good at that.
So what are some of the things that start this poor behavior? You know you are snarky when...
One question that often comes up when we meet people at wine events is 'Did you guys know each other before you moved to California?' The standard snarky response is 'You do know there is an ocean between our two countries don't you?'
An example of some snark - One of our favorites...
It seems like many people, including many 'wine experts', tend to Frenchify the word "Meritage" by pronouncing its last syllable with a "zh" sound, as in "garage," the Meritage Alliance specifically states that the word should be pronounced to rhyme with "heritage." A correction that we just cannot seem to let slide. These discussions often end with a google search on the smartphone and sharing in a not gloating kind of way. Our wives again seem to disagree with our perception of these interactions.
We have been overheard saying at some "wine events" that small-town USA food and wine festivals should often be called the Smalltown USA street food with some wine event.
When growing up one of our teachers (one of us does not wish to be identified) commented, would you allow me to be right once and a while?
Another one of those elephants that won’t go away is, ‘Red wine has extra sulfites, thus causing headaches’. Ok, really, still with the sulfite thing, you are kidding, right? In the EU the maximum levels of sulfur dioxide that a wine can contain are 210 ppm for white wine, 400 ppm for sweet wines — and 160 ppm for red wine. Heck French fries have about 1900 ppm and dried fruit 3,500. Regular soft drinks have about 400 ppm, so there's that...
Screw caps are for cheap wine... WHAT! Think Henschke Hill of Grace for starters. Can you say 'ignorant'?
As we start the conversation or lecture as our wives call it, there is generally complete ignorance as to the examples we use. Not sure if any of the enlightened ever change their viewpoint based on two cranky southern hemisphere blokes generously sharing their knowledge.
There is also the part of us that hated to see good wine go to waste... At a fancy wine tasting as the sommeliers were wrapping up the session and were soliciting final questions, someone (Kiwi), was heard asking the question 'are you going to finish that? Why waste good wine right? And one for the ages... Who, at a friend's house, would send back the wine served them? Oh yeah, that has happened!
Look, we are the first to admit we do not know everything. In fact, heaps of folks out there have forgotten more than we will ever know. We are always listening to those behind the counter and those who do the work. We read and attend stuff with the hope to learn more from those that know. The key is, if we are unsure or do not know, we don't spread the old wives' tales around like they are facts. Listen more and say less... So look, we are working on it, you know, trying not to be right all the time, and as time goes on perhaps some additional maturity will creep in. With that additional maturity hopefully, that will keep the ass part, of smart-ass, out of the conversations we sometimes get involved in while tasting and drinking wine...
If nothing else we will try to keep to ourselves a bit more. Happy Tasting Adventures,