Having recently returned from a trip to San Francisco, where the lovely Ms, Em insisted I tag along on a tour of the “wine country.” Wine country consists of Sonoma and Napa valleys in the middle of California. I was reluctant because I’m a little sick of people lifting what is essentially rotten grape juice onto the pillars of good taste, sophistication, and ultimate hipness, when, in fact, it was a mistake of Jesus proportions.
While in San Francisco, I was badgered into taking a tour of “wine country” on a comfortable bus. Before we reached Sonoma county, I had had it up to here with this “nectar of the gods” shit. (I regret using “gods”and “shit” in the same sentence, but not enough to change it,”) Anyway, the tour wasn’t all bad; I learned about “microenironments,” “dry growing,” :French versus American oak barrels”, “sugar content,” “wine clubs,” and pretentious yuppie scum.
While we were being hauled from winery to winery, I got out my laptop computer and found some other “wine” stuff on various esoteric web sites. At one page–Biblewine.bull–I learned that because of a mistranslation from Greek into Hebrew, modern Christians have this whole wine-and-crackers ritual all wrong. It seems at the big wedding party where Jesus was supposed to have changed water to wine, he actually changed it to grape jelly. The wedding caterer hadn’t brought enough food so Ishmael–the bride’s father–asked the prince of sandwiches to come up with some finger-food. Jesus was a little irritated but complied with the request. He asked for grapes and peanuts, and the PB&J was born. Take a sack lunch to your next church meeting.
At another site–Blotto.snark–I found that wine was the original “Holy Spirit.” In fact, why we call alcoholic drinks “spirits.” today. Eons ago, man and woman found that when they slurped rotten grapes, they’d get high, and let’s face, eons ago things sucked for the average person so getting stoned helped ease the torment a little.
Pretty soon, society invented professional imbibers, who they called “priests,” who would get all liquored up have hallucinations, then tell the moderate drinkers they were getting messages from invisible beings they called”gods.” The people raised the drunks to God interpreters. And, the people–at least the Romans–were ecstatic when the interpreters came up with a new god named Bacchus because a great time was had by all.
Wine didn’t get another big boost in popularity until some French drunk monks made more wine they could drink and decided foist the surplus off on unsuspecting peasants who, after all, would eat or drink anything…even snails. The French lower class loved the stuff, so, of course, the French Upper Class stole it from them and claimed is as their own, thereby giving it a false identification with advanced taste.
Hundreds of years later, French and German immigrants met up with the local Hispanics in California and said, “Holy shit, grapes will grow here. We might be able to make a buck.” These families set up little wineries in farming country and made a little wine until the last part of the 20th century when some advertising and marketing guys said, “Hey, if we convince people rotten grape juice is cool, we can make a shitload of money and cause the price of the land to rise so high, the peasants will move to Los Angeles.
Anyway, that’s the story of how you’ve been duped by the wine industry, Oh, by the way, that “wine makes a meal taste better” crap is only true if you are eating sour owl shit.