Matthew Stubbs, MW, wants me in the worst way, which is the only way he’s likely to get me. The Brugairolles-based Master of Wine is presiding over a two-day ‘tutored tasting’ on Languedoc-Roussillon, which is not being held in Languedoc-Roussillon, which might actually be fun. It’s not even being held in Vinécole, Stubbs’ wine school, which according to his bio is in situ, wherever that is.
Now, despite an odd similarity in logos and an identical ‘handshake’, the Maison de Languedoc-Roussillon claims that it has no affiliation with the Masons de Liberté, but I call bullshit: To gain admittance, M. Stubbs, MW requires you to provide specific credentials, and among them are four hundred identical slips of paper which contain numerous symbols related to Freemasonry.
In any case, Mr. Maestro de Vino ‘teases’ we potential spondoolie spewers by causing us a little self-doubt regarding our knowledge of Languedoc-Roussillon, which you can be assured, is not up to par.
For example, he ponders, ‘Did you know that Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the largest wine regions in the world?’
Nope. But as the ponderee, I must add: ‘Still, as long as you can use hyphens to define your wine region, Languedoc-Roussillon is nothing compared to California-Oregon-Washington.’
‘Did you know that Languedoc-Roussillon has over 30,000 vignerons?’
Depends. What’s a vigneron when it’s at home—person, place or thing?
‘Did you know that Languedoc-Roussillon contains over 50 appellations? How many do you know?’
Okay, Matt; we get the point. Most of us are pretty Languedoc lame and Rousillon retarded and the best among us probably can’t name more than a handful of handles. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that I could Google a seminar’s worth of information on them in the time it takes me to call a cab to take me to the airport to fly me to New York to attend the Roussillon Master Class seminar.
But then, you have to earn a living too, Matt, and as you so eloquently confess in your bio:
‘Being an MW is marginally more lucrative than being a musician!’
(Although I think we all agree that compared to musicians, Masters of Wine score fewer chicks, trash fewer Holiday Inns, inhale less crystalline tropane alkaloid, puke out of fewer tour bus windows, add fewer jerkoff contract riders to their dressing room demands and have precisely one less Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.)
So, just to make sure that those of you actually willing to shell out the shekels and show up at ‘shine shul are getting your money’s worth, I am now going to list some other ‘fun facts’ related to Languedoc-Roussillon which, in the odd event that His Master of Majesty forgets to mention them, you should bring up during pregnant pauses in the Feedback Session:
‘Did you know that the largest parasitic tapeworm ever removed from a human body was an 18 ft. (5.486 m.) cestoda discovered within the descending colon of Sally Mae Latulippe of Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint Loup?’
- ‘Did you know that Languedoc and Roussillon each contain exactly nine letters?’
- ‘Did you know that there is a separate-but-equal Master of Wine exam for Black people known as Massa ob Wine? (Also known as the Cori Page Can Only Unfriend Me Once exam).
- ‘Did you know that the ‘Sud’ in Sud de France has nothing to do with soap, and, in fact, more than 80% of Sud de France residents have never even heard of soap?
- ‘Did you know that Languedoc’s Secretary of Wine is named Roussillon and Roussillon’s Secretary of Wine is named Languedoc?
- ‘Did you know that the average unibrow of a Languedoc vigneron contains over eighty thousand follicle mites?’
- ‘Did you know that when blindfolded, Corbières citizens often can’t tell the difference between the smell of Tommette cheese and vomit?
- ‘Did you know that in Minervois, women traditionally stand when they urinate while it is the men who squat?’
- ‘Did you know that winemakers in the Banyuls AOC at the Spanish border cast no shadows and have no reflection in mirrors?’
In the event that you get any satisfactory feedback from my esteemed, but smarter-than-me colleague Matt Stubbs, please inform me of the specifics and I will gladly refund a portion of your entry fee, because I love to make fun of people smarter than me.
And the beat goes oeno…