The Wine Antisnob
My friend Pat (soon to be culinary guy in Italy!) recently sent me an article in the Wall Street Journal about Tim Hanni, the wine “antisnob”. This is a man who is on a mission to reinvent the American wine industry. Tim was one of the first Americans to be classified as a “Master of Wine”. This is a very privileged title held by only 265 people in the world, imagine that! Part of the rigorous test includes blind tasting wines and being able to discern the region, production method and alcohol levels—-whew! And I thought I was good when I could tell you what grape or grapes the wine was made from :)
The article goes on to explain how Tim had a “coming of age” after accepting that he was an alcoholic. After rehab, he quit drinking and reflected on his career in wine. He decided to go on a mission to drop the pretentiousness around wine and began to champion the notion that everyone has equally effective, yet distinct taste buds. Tim wanted to open up the world of wine to everyone. Today, he comes up with progressive wine lists for big-name restaurants (Ruth’s Chris, P.F. Chang’s, etc) that organize their wines from light and sweet to full, white to red. An example order might be: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah.
Tim makes the argument that any food can be paired with any wine. All you have to do it adjust the acidity and salt levels of the food. Humans really have only four types of taste (sour, salt, sweet, bitter), so any pairing is possible with a little tweaking. Check out the chart on the left for some examples of how to adjust certain foods to pair with any wine.
What does this have to do with 2 Guys Uncorked?
Well, I think the article resonates with what Jon and I are trying to do. Like Tim, we’ve realized that people want to enjoy wine. The problem is, they are intimidated—it’s easier to order a beer than a glass of wine.
Tim is out there helping restaurants and menus organize their wine lists for better pairings. But what about the rest of us that go to grocery stores or wine stores to buy wine? What do we do?
Well that’s where 2 Guys Uncorked comes in — each week we are buying and reviewing wines, uncovering great wines at great values. And occasionally, over-priced wines that don’t justify their price. By matching these wines with simple events (like weekend fun or a dinner party), we’re breaking down these so called “wine walls” and helping people pick the right types of wines for the right types of events.
2 Guys Uncorked has two goals: As you try the wines that we recommend, we want you to: 1) develop your own sense of wine, and 2) realize that wine doesn’t have to be hard. Once you start exploring, wine becomes fun and easy. All you need to do is have someone (e.g., 2 guys) give you a few hints along the way :)