What’s Out: There are no vintages in California.
What’s In: Rain, rain and more rain.
What’s Old: The boundaries of the Russian River Valley appellation.
What’s New: The watershed reverses course to follow its historic route back toward San Pablo Bay—according to federal regulators.
Stop Saying: “I just can’t waste good wine.”
Do Please: Furnish tasting rooms with handy spittoons or cups, not just one or two hard-to-reach dump buckets, so that tasters feel comfortable not getting wasted—on good wine.
Tweeted Out: “Artisanal.”
Tweeted In: “Made by elves!” (as tweeted by John Kelly, Westwood Wines).
Had Their Day: Winery dogs.
Flying High: Winery hawks (Hawley Winery, “Swirl” Nov. 11, 2011).
Hip Last Wednesday: Mixologists.
Useful This Friday: Competent, friendly “bartenders.”
Lean: Unoaked Chardonnay.
Mean: Neutral barrel-fermented Pinot Blanc.
Out: “Our unique terroir . . .”
In: “Our patch of dirt.”
Moldy Oldy: Arguments against vineyards that lean on the epithet “the alcohol industry.” Boo, alcohol!
Try This: Demonize local dairy farmers as “the saturated fat industry.”
Saying: “Our wines are handmade in the traditional way . . .”
While Forgetting to Mention: “. . . and then separated from their solids by technology developed by Nazi scientists, boiled off their alcohol and reconstituted in a laboratory. Tastes great!”
Smoke and Mirrors: “The legacy of Vino Vigo Cellars began with my Italian great-grandfather Vigo Vino, who made wine . . .”
Cut to the Chase: “Listen, I made a shit-ton of money in investment banking, so I bought myself my own winery because I like drinking wine—a lot!—and it gives the wife something to do, all of which has got fuck-all to do with great-grandfather Vigo, who, stomping his grapes in his underwear in his shitty Brooklyn basement apartment, never dreamed of the perfumed goddamned piles of cash that I have. Come, enjoy my wine, made by my fantastically well-paid flying winemaker—I’m actually quite nice!”
Cliché: “A passion for wine.”
Vérité: The more you drink, the more passion you have.
Earlier Days: High-priced new wine brands.
New Times: You just haven’t earned it yet, baby.
Old Hat: “Our wines epitomize terroir and evoke the senses . . .”
Fresh Meat: Our wines eviscerate terror and invoke senselessness. Goodnight.