If you can’t say something nice…

Speak no evil: I borrowed this cutie pic from, I’ve been a member of this book club for going on two years now, and we have lots of fun. We meet monthly, and communally choose the books that we read. We read literature, non-fiction and modern novels; nothing too long, preferably in paperback, frequently having to do with women. I’m one of the few 30ish women in the group, which is largely 20-somethings, and we’re all women. We meet at different people’s houses every month; everyone brings snack or wine or both.

All of us are wine drinkers, but I am the only real wine geek. Mostly the bottles are around a $10 price-point. There is a slight red-over-white preference.

Anyhow, I’m stopping off at Twin Liquors on my way to book club last night, because I spaced taking a bottle from the pantry that morning, and I’m the only one in the store with two bored sales personnel. I like the salespeople at Twin Liquors; they are very helpful but will leave you alone if you want. This time, though, I felt like it would be rude to make them pretend to ignore me as I walked the aisles, so I told them what parameters I had for my purchase: $10 bottle of red (because I knew a white wouldn’t keep its chill by the time I got there), fruity and soft, but interesting enough for me to want to drink it.

Of course, then it occured to me to look at their Portuguese table wine selection (all both of them), as that’s the theme of Wine Blogging Wednesday #38, and I don’t want to mess it up again. Neither of my choices there were workable; too big, I thought. Looked at the Montes, the fabulousness of which Melissa D’Vari reminded me of in her article about hanging with Aurelio Montes in Napa. They didn’t have the Syrah, though, so I lost interest. Then I thought: what says relaxed drinkability more than cru Beaujolais? I was directed to the Geroges DuBoeuf Beaujolias-Villages for $8.99, seemingly my only choice, and might have jumped, but then the salesguy suggested this little Pinot Noir from Trentino that they had in a case stack for $12.99.

Usually, northern Italian Pinot Noir is not something I get too excited about, but I went to this smoking tasting at Lake Travis Wine Trader on Tuesday (which I will write about soon, cross my heart) and had all these ungodly good, breathtaking Italian wines. So I was feeling pretty happy with Italy in general, and I bought it.

Yeah, and so you’re not going to hear any more about that wine. Oh, it was drunk and everything, but yikes. I’m just glad my book club gal-pals are not wine geeks like me or my name would have slightly been mud.

I submit this story in case you think I fall out about all the wines I taste. Really, I don’t; I’m not exactly rolling in it these days, so I buy cheapish wine and some of them are not yummy. So I write to you of the wines I think are noteworthy, and omit mention of my utter disappointments. I think that’s better than a rating system, don’t you?

By the way, the book this month was Gwendolen Gross’ The Other Mother: A Novel, and it was excellent. Next month: Reading Lolita in Tehran.

0 replies on “If you can’t say something nice…”

Personally, I wouldn’t mind the occasional negative “don’t say something nice” review from you — particularly of wines that may be ultra-popular or ultra-highly rated.

Not that it’s to anyone’s benefit for you to be superficially contrarian; but since you’re clearly a good writer and very knowledgeable about wine, I personally think I would be able to learn a lot from accounts of the wines you didn’t enjoy (so long as they’re more substantive than “this wine sucked”).

However, if you want to play nice, nobody’s going to stop you!

Have been enjoying your blog, btw!

your blog is fabulous. i’m not a blog commenter usually, but i will say that i didn’t think the wine sucked. although maybe i just really really needed a glass of wine. super duper rad that gwendolen commented on this. i heart our book club.

I’ll talk white wines any day, I love them and can tell many differences between types, regions, etc. However, red wine falls into one of two categories: I can drink it or I can’t (I thought yours was highly drinkable – no mud name for you). Perhaps you can help school me on the finer points of red wines next book club.

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