By Michael Eigen
In response to my last post about the “Douchelier,” a friend of a friend mentioned to him that I was the Douchelier because I was essentially doing what that guy was doing by calling everyone out…I think there is a little validity to that, but I will still not call myself a true “Douchelier” for one main reason: I have done the work. That’s all I’m saying and will continue to say. It’s fine to be interested in something, it’s even better to learn about it, but to become proficient in anything it takes lots of work and practice. The so called 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell ( a sometimes customer) writes about involves drinking lots of wine and talking about it. That’s one of the reasons it’s a fun hobby/profession. Read all the tasting notes you want but pulling out one wine at a dinner and going on about it based on a review in a magazine does not make you an expert. It can make you a Douchelier.
So yes, I can definitely sound pedantic and that is part of the point of my posts, but it’s only because I have downed a lot of bottles in pursuit of my knowledge and I think I bring a little bit of a unique perspective to the discussion. I also know my audience. There’s a time and a place for everything. There aren’t many things that I am as confident in my knowledge about as wine; and that said there is a lot I don’t know about wine that I continue to learn. Like all knowledge, it’s cumulative. The more you know allows you to know more. And once you start, at some point (if you’re lucky and have a good palate) it will all click and you will actually understand it all. At that point, you will look at your magazines and your ratings guides and wonder what you ever needed them for.
You need a good wine store, some good wine friends and some good forums. And you need to ABD: always be drinking (wine that is).