I Am The Joan Rivers Of The Wine-Blog Oscars

joanTruly, I am.  Like Bon Jovi and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Nabokov without an aurelian badge from Nobel; Chita Rivera, the firebrand Latina unable to sing her way into a Tony.

That’s me: Never the bridesmaid let alone the bride.  Hell, I can’t even get an illegal-immigrant gig picking up rice off the concrete after the blankity-blank wedding.  It can’t get any worse than that.

Or Can It…?

Orbit_Cover_0When I reviewed restaurants for Orbit, a great metropolitan newspaper, I used to compile mandatory ‘lists’ concerning the local dining scene.  ‘Restaurant of the Year’, ‘Detroit’s Top Ten’, ‘Top One Hundred’, etc.  The fact that ‘The Ten Shittiest Bathrooms in the Ten Most Ghetto Clubs’ was the only article anyone ever read is immaterial—the point is, mustering a ‘top ten’ list was painless, because if you were one of the ten best restaurants in Detroit, you knew it, and if you weren’t you knew it, and nobody who didn’t make the cut was particularly offended, nor was anyone who made the list particularly impressed. I made far more mortal enemies—people from whom I still have to hide, like Salman Rushdie—doing a ‘Top 100’ list, because everybody with a Class C license and a Schoolcraft-trained griddle jockey figured they should be on that one.

And yet, my straits today manage to be even more dire than that.

Steve McConnell

Steve McConnell

The other day, Paso playmate Steve McConnell sent me a link to a wine blog called ‘Wine Turtle’, a ‘newish’ snore-fest that not only confesses an urgency-free, immediacy-lacking approach to the science of wine writery, but counsels those of us who believe in getting to the point that this is not the way it’s ‘supposed to be done’.

Fair enough. The Turtle blog is written by a couple of chuffed chelonians from parts unknown; one claims no formal wine training whatsoever while the other calls herself a professional sommelier, which is better than being what I am—an unprofessional sommelier.

Not that ‘training’ is a required—or even a desirable—laurel for a wine writer to rest upon.

What's so hard about this?

What’s so hard about this?

So far, along their wondrous, turtle-paced odyssey though Oenotopia, the reptilian pair have (true to their admonition about pacing) managed to publish a total of fifteen articles.  Or, in mathematical terms, seven-and-a-half columns each.  These include ‘How To Read a Wine Label for Beginners’, which I would have written except that when I asked my bodega clerk if he had any wine with labels for beginners, he assured me that his labels were for more advanced readers.

Bartles_&_Jaymes_original_flavorAnd there is ‘What’s The Best Wine Cooler?’ which mentions Eurocave and the Haier 6-bottle but totally leaves out Bartles & Jaymes Country Kwencher.  Must have been the non-professional partner that pulled that boner.

And then, dearest, loyal, beautiful-if-challenged reader, there is the feature that has so tattered the mainsail of my ego:

‘The 103 Best Wine Blogs That You Can’t Miss’

Sha’Niquakisha’s Offal & Ovaltine Emporium

Open air kitchen in Sha’Niquanisha’s Offal & Ovaltine Emporium

And yes, you guessed it: Like my top hundred restaurant list and Sha’Niquanisha’s Offal & Ovaltine Emporium over on West Vernor, Intoxicology Report failed to measure up.

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth is the fact that had it been a strict top-hundred list, I might have figured that my years of toil and endeavor had come ‘close’ in the estimation of this strange turtleian race, but that they found themselves beholden to a captious, anal, overweening (if self-imposed) blog-limit?

And yet, these plodding, hard-shelled swamp creatures actually elevated three additional blogerinos into their hallowed fucking so-called pantheon, capping the list at 103.

Meaning that I could have secured slot number 104 and no numerical restrictions could have kept me out, but for the glaring reality…

I’m just… not… good enough!

“Chin Up and Never Say Die, Chrissy! Reach for the Moon ‘Cause the Sky’s the Limit, So Pull Out the Stops and Punch Above Your Weight, Tiger!”

There, I feel better now.  A few words of encouragement from Inner Me; the dashing, hung-like-a-Kowalski-Smoked-Kielbasa with the hot girlfriend and access to really good cocaine me.

bon joviI’m reminded that, eulogy or no eulogy, Joan Rivers made that Academy Award carpet red, blushing as it did from her acerbic barbs. Nabokov’s Nobel snub—even if it prevented him from becoming Gary Glitter’s biographer—was the result of two committee judges winning in his place; nothing suspicious there, huh?  And Bon Jovi, let’s be honest—we all know that Jon Bon Jovi is too fucking handsome to be inducted into any ‘Hall of Fame’.  That architectural monstrosity, hovering above the stinking shores of Lake Erie like a housefly over a corpse, is filled with ugly people like Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen and Billy Joel. Clearly, the inductors are just jealous.

And guess what?  Know who else is jealous? These teenage mutant ninja herpetologist-humpers are jealous, that’s who.  Jealous of… Well, maybe not Old Me.  But definitely jealous of Renaissance Me, the reborn me, the me with war-paint, berserker pre-battle chants and a savage new nom de guerre:

Phantom 104’.

scarlettLike Gloria Gaynor, I will survive; like Pete Seeger in blackface, I shall overcome.  Like Scarlett, as God is my witness, they’re not going to lick me; I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.

As proof, here’s my new favorite recipe:


wine turtle

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4 Responses to I Am The Joan Rivers Of The Wine-Blog Oscars

  1. Hey Chris,
    You can have my spot on the Turdles Top 103 Wine Blogs. I don’t want to be on any list that would have me listed–thank you, Groucho.

  2. Pete Seeger in blackface.

  3. Well I was left off too while (inexplicably) Wines of Balkans was included. My kind note to the authors asking for explanation went unanswered. Whatever. Chris – your blog is one of the best out there, turtles or no turtles and one of the few I read and always enjoy. Cheers my friend. ~Cliff

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