"Who's gonna love you, love you, who's gonna love you?…"

by Katie Pizzuto on November 21, 2008

in Cooking,Wine

200538627-001Don’t lie, you know exactly who they are…the wine geek or the foodie that completely gets your goat. It’s a tough one to admit because on some level, we are all wine geeks and/or foodies. We get giddy whenever we’re able to secure those last couple of bottles of some boutique wine that completely turned us on. We tote our own glassware with us to BYOs. We may even equate certain meals we’ve had with the likes of a sexual encounter. But then there are those who step off the deep end and force the rest of us to shake our heads in shame…or in laughter. I’m sure there are many more than I can name here (feel free to chime in) but here are a few of those that give geekdom a bad name.

The Name Dropper – It happens in many circles, not just the wine world, but it doesn’t make it any less entertaining. Instead of dropping the name of all the celebrities they’ve met or such, they spend an evening at the dinner table recounting their last trip to _____ (insert famous wine region) and how they were miraculously able to secure a private vertical tasting with ______ (insert famous winemaker). And you feign interest, enthusiasm and envy as they drone on, all the time silently wishing you hadn’t bothered to ask how their vacation went.

The Walking Encyclopedia – You see the name meritage for the first time and unknowingly pronounce it “me-ri-tahj”…a common mistake given that you’ve already heard of hermitage and pinotage. You also happen to do it in front of others and amidst those “others” is the walking encyclopedia that feels compelled to correct you right then and there. “Oh, you must mean ‘me-ri-tij’. It actually got its name from combining the words ‘merit’ and ‘heritage’…yadda, yadda, yadda.” And not only are you really pissed off that they felt the need to show off in a crowd, but you’re also wondering why the hell a group of folks would purposely choose to give a wine a name so incredibly similar to other, long-existing wine names and yet giggle under their breath when you pronounce it like those other, long-existing wine names. Tell ya what, you say “me-ri-tij” I say “me-ri-tahj”…let’s call the whole thing off.

The Cult Collector
– The conversation almost always begins with “Oh, come here, you’ve gotta see what I picked up at the auction last week.” And you unavoidably get dragged down to the cellar where they dance over to a case of Cult Wine ABC, pull out a bottle and present it to you as if you were laying eyes on the Holy Grail for the first time. “Awesome! When will that be peaking?” you ask. “Peaking? I don’t know man, I’m never going to drink this! This is the find of finds…you know how much I paid for this?!? I want this to be around for my grandkids to inherit one day.” And you think, once they’re six feet under, you know damned well that one of those unknowing grandkids is going to stuff their “inheritance” in the trunk of their car on a hot July day and forget to bring it into the house for two weeks.

The Import Lover – Ever tasted an Asian pear, a Haitian mango, or a Malaysian papaya? They’re delicious…they really are…if you happen to be standing in a farmer’s market in Japan, Haiti or Malaysia. But the import lover wants that hard-to-find produce and doesn’t understand that the papaya has been genetically modified so that it doesn’t ripen too rapidly and spoil on its trip here from Malaysia. Mmmmmmm, genetically modified papaya (insert a Homer Simpson drool). Nor do they know that those mangoes are getting picked green (like tomatoes), and being sprayed with ethylene gas while in transit in order to “ripen.” Sure it produces a ripe-LOOKING fruit, but I prefer my tomato sun-ripened, with ethylene gas on the SIDE please. I had an import lover slice up a mango for me once that they raved was the best to be had, and after biting into it I had to smile gratefully and nod in agreement that it was, indeed, a great mango. And the whole time I’m thinking…I’ve climbed mango trees with my cousins in Florida, and then sat in the mangrove tearing one open as its juices ran down my arms…and somehow a bland, chemically treated (albeit “imported”) mango ain’t holding up to that memory.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Linsey November 21, 2008

Mangoes that taste good are rare in England – most of them seem to smell musty and taste it too. Add to that the fact that they dont even ripen before going grey inside – wtf are they importing then charging the mugs who buy them (me included) the earth for.They arnt the only fruit that doesnt ripen properly after you buy it either – kiwi fruit, peaches, nectarines etc all seem to rot before they are perfect to use and dont even bother with imported strawberries – hard as hell centres!

Papayas also tasteless….. sighs – wishes for the juicy full of taste fruit that I knew as a kid before all the influx of ultra exotic fruits

my grandfather used to by large boxes filled with oranges for christmas and omg they were delicious – never a bad one in it – i love navel oranges!

and i can still remember the first pineapple i ever had – never tasted one since as good


2 Elaine November 23, 2008

What about the “Everything I Learned I Learned From the Food Network” foodie? And don’t get me started on the Martha Stewart devotees…


3 Katie Pizzuto November 23, 2008

that’s a GREAT one Elaine! Thanks for adding that one!


4 Alan Kropf November 24, 2008

There needs to be a term for people that fall into this category. ______ geek implies an enthusiast. I suggest __________ douchebag.


5 Katie Pizzuto November 24, 2008

Yeah, but methinks “wine douchebag” might get tied in with coffee enemas 😉


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