<b>The Wine Guy: Moby Dick Syndrome – Drink Different</b>
Aug 2012 21

The Wine Guy: Moby Dick Syndrome – Drink Different

Posted In Blog,Booze,Food & Drink

by The Wine Guy


[Novella in Merlot]

There is a phenomenon in the wine world, which I refer to as the Moby Dick wine. It was that one wine you had at that one restaurant in 1997 that you’ve been chasing ever since. I am going to tell you right now, just stop it. Do you have any idea how many amazing wines there are out there? There is more great wine out there then you will ever get to try in your whole life. So instead of spending all your time and effort trying to find that wine, try something new! You want to buy a wine from your birth year to have in your showcase, that is fine. You want to buy the wine from your first date with your true love, well that is fine too. We all have favorite wines and wineries, but lets hope that we can add a new one tomorrow. Don’t lose sight of that the fact that if you had been chasing another wine on the night you had that one, you would’ve never had it in the first place! How did any of us find our favorite wines except trying a bunch of wines?

This brings me to the second key part of the Moby Dick phenomenon, the loyal dodo. When you are not being captain Ahab and demanding that your local wine shop carry the wine that you had ten years ago, you are arriving with a preset checklist. I want Mondavi, Mer Soleil, or Cakebread and that is it. This behavior is somehow condoned when buying wine but imagine it in another setting. You arrive at the Chinese restaurant and want sushi. You arrive at the sushi restaurant but will only eat white tuna. I am not telling you that you have to settle. Do not settle, drink better! The reason you like your pre-selected wines will be the same reason why you will like a substitute. You might like the new wine even more. Yes, we all hate to get burned by a bad wine. No one hates that more than me. But without risk there is less reward. Simply explain to the wine guy or girl what you like about the wines your normally buy and then let them suggest a replacement for you. The more trust you give them the bigger the pay off.

The third aspect of the Moby Dick chase is that when we set sail to find the great lost wine, we are willing to capture others, but we will not under any circumstances try a wine we have not heard of. Again there was a time when you had not heard of Rombauer chardonnay. There was a time when you did not know about Silver Oak. When you have heard of a wine, or for that mater when everyone has heard of a wine, it is either because it is famous, in which case it is overpriced, or because it is ubiquitous, in which case it’s a factory wine that should be avoided. Discover the unheard of winery, and enjoy a wine that has been priced based on its quality and not on its name. Impress your friends by introducing them to this exotic new wine. Worried about your wine snob friends? As long as you inspire a little confidence and exude excitement for you selection, rather than making excuses for it, your wine snob friend will likely be happy to try something new. Everyone wins when you approach wine with a more adventurous attitude.

Wine is a living thing. Wineries are functioning places. Winemakers are human beings. Wineries get bought, winemakers change houses, and wines change in the bottle. There is no reason to be absolute about any of these three. The winemaker leaves your favorite winery and the new winemaker changes the style on you. The winery sells to a bigger company and they start mass-producing the wines you once loved and the quality falls dramatically. The new vintage of your old favorite needs an extra year or so to open up and become the wine you like. These things will happen. That is a fact. So stop chasing that wine, stop pledging undying allegiance to a winery, and stop drinking the same stuff over and over again.

***

The Wine Guy sells wine for a living, and lives to drink it. It’s his first and foremost passion. He avoids factory wines, loves to seek out bottles that are interesting and unique, and gets excited when he finds a grape he’s have never heard of.

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