Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Socio-politics of wine and beer

Is good beer as good as or better than good wine? The primary issue is that most people who are into satisfying their inner gimmes can afford good beer, whereas most people who crave luxury are not necessarily in the financial position of enjoying really good wine on a regular basis.

Good wine is very, very good. I could name a handful of wines that are good, as in drinkable or more than drinkable, with some kind of complexity or richness that are under $10. Most wines that meet those basic criteria are about $20. A really decent bottle of wine, one that provides you with some kind of memorable experience, costs $30 to $50. An exceptional bottle of wine--well, the sky's the limit. And wine, unlike beer, is subject to bottling conditions--you might get a bad bottle, period, of a generally very fine wine. Corks deteriorate, something's just not right, etc. Wine is very fussy.

Beer is not particularly fussy. Beer retains some kind of general quality or standard across the board. Good beers do have a complexity of flavor--not like wine--no, nothing is really like wine--but good beer has character and can be very interesting. Good, affordable beers: Magic Hat's #9, Magic Hat's Hocus Pocus (when you can get it & only in VT), Long Trail (just about any variation), Otter Creek amber ale, Wild Goose amber, (do they still make Catamount?), Blue Ridge amber. I will need to get back to you on more.

Is there such a thing as a beer snob? Probably not.

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