The three of them sat down next to me at the bar and ordered a bottle of the very same wine I was tasting. It was the Pinot Noir, Failla, Keefer Ranch, Russian River, 2005, a wine that I just could not bring myself to like. Hard as I tried, I could not find any pinot there. I left my glass unfinished, while they downed their first bottle and then ordered a second. Both bottles were consumed without a bite of food. This is a concept I just can't get my palate around. Drinking glass after glass of high octane red wine without any food to absorb all the alcohol and tannin sounds more like work than pleasure. The more I taste such wines the more exaggerated their course characteristics become. In fact, I can rarely finish an entire glass. Yet here was this threesome on their second bottle, which, by the by, was running $100+ a pop.
I know there is no arguing taste (unless you have your own blog), but at some point you have to ask the question; what is wine for? Is it just another alternative to vodka on the rocks, another alcohol delivery system, or is it a food and a part of the dining experience? Even vodka lovers rarely drink their favorite with meals, instead consuming when it can do that thing it does so well without undo interference. Wine will never deliver a buzz as quickly or as powerfully as vodka and a big glass of Absolut on the rocks will never be the ultimate companion to fine food.
It may be an Absolut world, but hopefully wine will remain one of the food groups.