Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A plea against aspiratonal antagonism

Eric Asimov, at his wine blog The Pour at the New York Times, has written a gorgeous plea for beer and wine to find common ground. Forgive me if I quote him at length.

Beer and wine are not in competition. Yet people in the wine business, who I assure you drink an awful lot of beer, don’t often take it seriously as a beverage. And people in the beer business, perhaps in reaction to not-so-imaginary slights, rarely even acknowledge the existence of wine, much less deem it worthy of drinking. <...> The enemy of beer is not wine and the enemy of wine is not beer, just as the enemy of bread is not fruit and vice versa. But the enemy of good beer and good wine, and good food in general, is bad beer, bad wine and, yes, bad food.

A Plea for Peaceful Coexistence
Eric Asimov
The Pour
October 27, 2009

Asimov gets right to the nub of the matter: when drinkers forget why they fell in love with the beauties of wine (or beer) in the first place:
The enemy of good wine is the atrocious marketing that makes wine an aspirational commodity, just another luxury good to purchase for its status value.

There's more and more of this aspirational avarice and antagonism in the 'craft' beer world these days. Beer vs. wine; IPAs vs pale ales; ales vs. lagers; imperial whatevers vs. sesson beers; taste vs. alcohol content; the newest vs. the good.

That's too bad. Such one-upmanship misses the point and the fun. It's the flavor, and the company in which you enjoy the beer, which should be the pleasure.

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