‘Is The Wine Writing World Out Of Touch?’ Touch THIS, Tree Boy…

Whenever I am introduced to a black person, the first thing I say is, “What are you people calling yourselves these days?  Because I don’t want to say anything socially awkward.”

But Seriously, Folks: 

'That's Mr. Nigga to you.'

‘That’s Mr. Nigga to you.’

Like most semi-literate, semi-alert crackerhonkies, I rankle whenever I hear a black street punk call another black street punk ‘nigger’ because I was taught to despise that word above all others—but I always feel strange in the midst of my ranklement, because I am white and do not even pretend to understand the psychological implications of that loaded word, which has—mostly by a hostile pale-faced majority, of course—been infused into the black vocabulary over many centuries.  Is it an ironic label? A sign of brotherhood and a frank admission of dude’s inhumanity to dude?  Even a form of self-flagellation?

Or possibly, a warning to us Caucasians that the word is no longer ours to use and abuse?

Well, now I’m one step closer to understanding: I’ve been niggered by a tree.

But Seriously, Folks: 

Alder: a tree name of Vinography: a wine blog is a patronizing peckerhead.

Seriously, folks.

‘Is The Wine Writing World Out Of Touch?’: Vinography, 1/8/13 

Prof. Howard

Prof. Howard

Background:  In 2012, a team of Michigan State University researchers led by Associate Professor Philip Howard conducted on-site wine inventories of twenty Michigan retailers and concluded that of the 3,600 unique wines carried, affiliated with 1000 firms, more than half were owned by just three corporations; the same three that account for 51.5% of U.S. wine sales:  E & J Gallo (22.8%), The Wine Group (15.9%) and Constellation Brands (12.8%).



Apparently, an avalanche of awestruck and appalled articles appeared anon—bloggers and wine writers who, in the opinion of Tree Boy, should have already had this information at their fingertips.

He claims frank non-plussment at how ‘out of touch’ those whose ‘self-appointed role involves communicating about wine’ are, claiming that there is ‘no excuse’ for such lapses of genuine industry understanding.

How Do You Say ‘Blow Me’ in Entish?

Chris Kssel

Chris Kassel

You see, I was one of those flatliners who did not quite live up to the Vinography Excusability Standard to which all wine writers should adhere; and in fact, should have posted above their Asus monitors.  In my column of November 18, 2012, I approach the subject with total out-of-touch awestruckity and appalledness for which I am now ashamed:


I was indeed appallstruck to discover the obscene level of market penetration that the ‘Big Three’ had and will, therefore, resign my undeserved self-appointment.

But, Back To Is The Wine Writing World Out Of Touch?’…



Honestly, I couldn’t even get past the wrist-slapping opening sentence of this testy tome without gacking up an ounce of last night’s Vietnamese snake wine.  In it, the Putzel of Pulp postulates peevishly upon my personal domestic situation:

‘So where have all these wine bloggers and writers been living for the past 10 years? Under a rock?’

Just call me Rock Boy, sir.  But, according to the rules, rock sits on paper—and if you don’t know where paper comes from, I will be frankly nonplussed.

Too good for this? Oooooh!

Too good for this? Oooooh!

He goes on to toot his own tin whistle—ironically, right after suggesting that I (generically) may be a trifle tactically challenged when it comes to grokking the tastes of Tom and Trisha Temecula or Tucson or Toledo or whatever typical, ticky-tacky town is snarfing up all the Arbor Mist White Merlot Cranberry Twist—Middle America’s beverage of choice, according to Vinography’s accompanying illustration.

Alder, on the other hand—or limb or branch or whatever—understands instinctively how the riff-raff rolls, despite the fact that he would not dream of debasing his pompous papillae with such plebian plonk, pointedly preferring:

‘…the expensive stuff with hard to pronounce names.’

Jesus, Mary and Joseph; wine people like this make me want to go skydiving without a parachute.  I have a hard-to-pronounce name for you, Timbertoes:  Supercalifragilisticexpialadouchebag.


Not Only Are We Out of Touch, We’re Also Thieves…

Chris Kssel

Chris Kassel

So, in the Vinography article, right above the reprinted Wine Market Share 2011 graphic from Professor Howard’s study,  our favorite denizen of the Forest of Cheem accuses bloggers of ‘stealing’ the Wine Market Share 2011 graphic from Professor Howard’s study, adding in parentheses: (usually with proper credit given to the professor) which makes no bloody sense unless he means ‘without proper credit’—even though the Prof’s name is stuck to the bottom of the graph as if with Gorilla Wood Glue.

He then slides into a bizarre segue comparing wine writers who should ‘spend a little more time in the wine aisle at the biggest supermarket they can find’ to ‘a politician who fails to recognize that the health care benefits and retirement plan that comes with his job in Washington bears no resemblance to what the average American can afford.’

C'mon, Daddy, cough it up.

C’mon, Daddy, cough it up.

Huh?? All I get out of that is that Alder can afford to drink better wine than me, an average American—who has in fact gotten shit-faced more times than he can remember on the kind stuff that Mr. Monoecious proudly ‘spits into the sink, followed by the rest of the bottle’, apparently gloating over the fact that he can also afford to waste worser wine than the average American.  Oooooh!  By golly, Daddy Warbucks, if you are so friggin well off and want to rub my face in something, can’t it at least be a ball of 90% Peruvian Flake?

Who Is This Guy Anyway?



Why, he’s the guy that all his friends go to for advice, at least according to Vinography’s ‘About The Editor’ tab.  He’s ‘The Wine World’s Brightest Cyberstar’ (same source).  He’s a ‘graduate of Stanford University with time spent at Oxford University’.  Ooooooh!  (same source).

He’s easy enough to track down if you are all that interested: Start with Oxford Book of Trees, A. R. Clapham; Littlehampton Book Services Ltd; new edition (Jan 1986).

If nothing else, it will explain what he was doing at Oxford.

Actually, the guy knows his stuff, no question about it, and is indeed well respected throughout the wine world.  As a general rule, however, I would be a lot more eager to read his shit if he’d grow a sense of humor and get his nose out of the air and back into the wine glass where it belongs.

Epidermodysplasia verruciformis.

Epidermodysplasia verruciformis.

He can call me, as a ‘fellow pundit’, the ‘n’ word in spirit as much as he wants, and he’s probably right.  Literarily, I am a Lugz-wearin, Lando-lovin, Latifah-listenin lawn jockey.  Plus, he knows that I will not dare to strike back with any snideries about why a poindexter from Stanford allows so many typos to slide by on Vinography, because for all I know, the guy is dyslexic, and far be it from me to make light of any affliction that plagues the human condition.

Except, perhaps, Epidermodysplasia verruciformis.



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12 Responses to ‘Is The Wine Writing World Out Of Touch?’ Touch THIS, Tree Boy…

  1. ALEC WHITE says:

    I have been reading your posts for several months now, and aside from your penchant for sentences where all the words begin with the same letter (I know there’s a grammatical term or two for this but I can’t remember it/them–I couldn’t get into Stanford and I don’t know where Oxford is.) I always at least smile, sometimes chuckle, and on occasion get a belly laugh. But this one broke the mold! Severe belly laughs!

    Keep it up—great stuff!

    • intoxreport says:

      Thanks, brother. No worries; I couldn’t get into Stanford Community College. I dated a girl from Oxford, Michigan, but I don’t remember any colleges there; a lot of liquor stores, but no colleges.

  2. Chris,
    Not sure why you’re arguing with a plant, but have at it, my friend. Alderpated likes to point out how smart he is by pointing out how stupid other people are. And then he goes on to review 150 wines in a day to prove how stupid we are.
    Reading Vornography is like eating rice cakes. You know you’re ingesting something, but it’s completely empty.

  3. jefflefevere says:

    First time, long time…

    Alder is a good guy in person. Perhaps misunderstood even by those who divine personality from writing style. That said, this is an inspired, funny post, amongst many good posts from you.

  4. wblakegray says:

    It’s sad to see people praise this personal attack. Disagreement is one thing, but this kind of column diminishes everything it touches, including the author.

    • intoxreport says:

      ‘Think about it: is there any wine writer in the world who has the power to make you read his blogs? Don’t want honest, mean mockery of other asshole wine writers? Don’t read them.’

      Direct quote from W. Blake ‘My Glasses Make Me Look Like A Total Twat’ Gray’s riveting, can’t-put-it-down, Pulitzer-worthy column on why he won’t eat at Una Pizza.

  5. fprex scam says:

    Fuck you all Forex bustards

    • Ihwan says:

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