Beer vs Wine, a timeless debate…

by Sep 30, 2021Eccentric Somelier0 comments

DEAR READER,

Blah blah blah let’s get right to it!

Dear Sommelier Ferdinand,

You’ve dropped some hints that you look down on beer. Why is this, Sommelier Ferdinand? You have a growing fanbase—surely, you’re aware the effect that your insults have? And before you dismiss me as another beer drinking sports fanatic—yes!—I do enjoy beers! I relish the different tastes of a Belgian Ale, an American lager, and especially an Italian pilsner (all “swill”, to you, sir). And, Mr. Sommelier, I wonder… why are you so judgmental towards softer drinks? I would think expanding your palate is beneficial for a sommelier, no? -Enrico

Thank you for airing your concerns, Enrico. But I assure you, my palate has never underperformed, even in the womb. And to imply that my faculties of taste are not superb… this presents a fundamental misunderstanding that must be cleared up. Taste is not determined by relativity; which is to say that drinking beers will not strengthen the precision of my winetasting. It would help me compare the taste of the wine to the taste of beer… but I’m okay leaving that comparison up to imagination.

I’m a comfortable man, Enrico. I must be comfortable—I’m too old to be shifting this way, that way. I admire your dedicated to beer—which I do not think is “swill” (that’s reserved for actual soft drinks)—but I’m not going to change my ways, bub. I’ve drank many beers in my life, and I’ve come to the conclusion that its function is altogether different than wine’s. Beers are for casual, social occasions, in my perception. Huddling ‘round the telly, maybe a barbecue or hoedown—but beer is not an activity unto itself. At least, not in the same way wine is. I have no trouble gathering a group of friends around a bottle of wine as though we’re sitting down to solve a puzzle, together. And that’s because wine is exquisite, each bottle is unique—whereas beer is mass-produced to taste the exact same. Trust me, there’s enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; I don’t need any more in my glass.

Where I will give beer credit, however, is for its glassware. Steins, pint glasses—very satisfying to the grasp! I’ll take a beer glass, but no glass of beer, Enrico.

I appreciate your writing in, and I wish you the best of luck with your indigestion.

-Sommelier Ferdinand. 15.9.21

 

Explore More from Our Blog

Would you bring your child to a winery?

DEAR READER, What a pleasure to be back! I admit it: these mailbags are now my favorite point of the week. Even during the contentious back-and-forth, I always enjoy opening my inbox to see words from you all. “Kind” ones, sometimes—but as you know from last week—I...

Our Sommeliers suggested wine

DEAR READER, I must be honest—I expected many more well wishes after posting that old journal entry. Everyone is modest when they say they don’t want well wishes, and so I expected there would be a few of you who saw through my “plea for privacy”. But, I forgive and I...

Because Life Needs Good and Evil

Black and white. Chaos and order. Sinner. Sinless. Life is a constant search for the happy medium, the yin and the yang. It’s as renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson explains, “Order is not enough. You can’t just be stable, and secure, and unchanging, because...

Thank you, Lehman Brothers?

On this day, 13 years ago, the world broke out in a panic when Lehman Brothers filed for Ch. 11 bankruptcy. Still the largest bankruptcy filing in US history, it was the climax of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Subprime mortgages were to blame, lending money to...

What would you do if you found an expensive wine in a cellar?

DEAR READER, Never in my life have I been happier to pontificate about wine than at my computer desk. In person is stimulating, sure, but they always talk back at some point. My lovely readers, however, only speak when I like! This internet thing has utility!...

The Beginning and The End.

Alas, the sun has crossed the celestial equator from north to south. Summer is now quite uneasy, shifting into fall in the north, while life is springing into action down south. What a beautiful time of the year! When grapes are cut from the vine to create new wine,...

Ever heard of a wine cocktail?

DEAR READER, I hope some of you learned from the reader letter last week [hyperlink to Week Ten post] and checked your attics! You never know how much wine sits above you, waiting to be uncorked and decanted—on someone else’s dime! Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, I have a...

The Future of Wine

We humans are bold if nothing else. Unlike any other species (that we know of), only we have chosen time and again to go boldly where no other has gone before. This holds especially true to the modern European, the first to really “discover” ignorance. Though they...

Could Mozart Make Your Wine More Complex?

We usually do three things when drinking wine: look at it, smell it and taste it. We activate three of our five senses to understand what’s going on in the glass. I propose we go further by incorporating sound and touch. Surely what we’re listening to while...

What on earth is a ‘Wine Decanter’?

DEAR READER, It’s come to my attention that many of you are ill-informed, misinformed, and frankly, uninformed about how wine is to be consumed. Were I only a wine enthusiast, it would be wholly dispiriting. But—wine is my profession, and I’m obligated to recognize...

“What’s My Next Question?” – Benjamin Kaplan

What’s My Next Question? On a random day like today 11 years ago, a legendary Harvard Law professor and lawyer, Benjamin Kaplan, died at 99 years of age. A rich, marked life that left an impact long after his last breathe. Apart from influencing the likes of Ruth...

Wine that Makes You Look Up

Wines that Make You Look Up Can you imagine having a device that magnifies your view and never thinking to look up, never pointing it toward the sky? Until August 25, 1609, nobody had. Enter Galileo Galilee, the man who changed the way we see and interpret all that is...