the wine conundrum

I read this quote from some guy talking about honey: “Honey is a lot like wine: the more you learn, the less you know.” OK, maybe that wasn’t his exact quote, but I’m way too lazy to dig out the magazine and it’s not like he’s coming to correct me, because I also don’t remember his name or why it is he was talking about honey. But anyway, he’s right. The more I learn about wine, the stupider I become about wine.

Illustrative scene #1:

I was making a dish that called for white wine. A person less stupid that I am would have gone to the store and picked out a white wine in an acceptable price range. But that’s not what I did. What I did was wander aimlessly through the wine aisle at the grocery store for at least 15 minutes until I couldn’t take the confusion and feeling that I looked like a dumbass and randomly grabbed a bottle from the shelf. Which may appear to be the same actions a less stupid person would take, but on closer inspection was more like this:

White wine… white wine… I want it to have a nice flavor for the sauce, but also be good to drink with the dish.

Not a chardonnay. That would overpower the dish.

Pinot grigio? Best not to blindly pick a Pinot grigio, as you run the risk of drinking rain water. An Italian pinot gris is generally a good bet though… oh right. This is safeway. Their selection is seriously limited.

Not a reisling; that might be too sweet for the dish.

A gewurztraminer? Could be too spicy. Or too sweet.

Viogner? Oh right. Safeway probably doesn’t have any.

Pinot blanc? I know nothing about pinot blanc. Other than it’s blanc.

Oh wait… what’s this? White table wine! A little chardonnay, a bunch of sauvignon blanc and some sémillon. Viognier and muscat! I don’t have to choose! And it has a cool name! Conundrum. How can I go wrong with that? Also, I’m beginning to risk spending more time looking for a wine than cooking the dish. Conundrum it is.

It was pretty good, but probably not worth 15 minutes of agonizing in the Safeway aisle.

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