Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Its Vintage, Darling!

How do you know when the Wine Conversation has started in earnest and joined the mainstream? Some tests of mine would be (in no particular order):
  • Wine is the main object in a reality TV show (check! Oz & James took care of that)
  • Wine is the key plot driver in a big movie (check! Sideways & A Good Year, plus Mondovino etc.)
  • Wine becomes the subject of a daytime TV Quiz Show
  • Wine gets mentioned on The Archers (I happened to hear them mention facebook some months back - I knew then it had "arrived")
  • Two 'blokes' in a pub 'come to blows' over a wine
  • You can discuss the wine you drank last night with your barber, and he gives you new suggestions
  • Wine becomes the focus of a pulp fiction novel (check!)
I was in the checkout queue in the supermarket the other day and as I waited I was entertained by the image of an attractive woman carrying a champagne bottle. Nothing particularly unusual about that except that it was the cover of one of those mass market novels, and it was called "Vintage".

I decided to explore further and read the back cover.

"Three women who dare to make it in a man's world. One sparkling prize."I was intrigued.

"Competing to produce the world's best sparkling wine, the three women are swept into a world of feuds, back-stabbing, sabotage and seduction. Have they got what it takes to survive?"

Ooh! They joined the wine trade. How exciting! (only joking ... no seduction around here that I know about).

Quite apart from the correct use of the term sparkling wine, I was quite taken aback that wine should be quite such a central theme of such a book. I guess I should really have bought the book to learn more, but I couldn't bring myself to put it in the basket. However, if you are intrigued, you can check out the site here and even buy it on Amazon for £1.99.

How much more "popular" can you get?


Strumerika said...

haha, that's great. I'll add seing the word "oenology" as part of a spelling bee on "Beauty and the Geek" (do they air this show outside of the US?) to the roster of mainstream wine mentions. Caught that a few months ago! Nevertheless, the "beauty" spelled it wrong.

gopaz said...

When we talk about getting wine into your everyday household, what better way than through steamy romance novels! If only we can get a soap opera based on a wine: The Bubbly and the Beautiful, The Vicious Vino Vixens, The Struggling Syrah,....

Robert McIntosh said...

no, sorry strumerika, spelling has not taken off as a national entertainment topic. We have, however, has several National IQ tests :)

Gabriella - sounds like you have a novel just itching to get published there. There was the character on a TV soap here (Footballers' Wives) called "Chardonnay" - does that count?

Richard A. said...

There is also a wine comic book, a Japanese manga, called "The Drops of God." I posted about it before and am preparing a follow-up post due to new info.

The comic mentions several real wines, especially French wines, and Asian sales of those wines sky rocketed once they were mentioned in the comic. The descriptions of the wines is not the usual tasting note either.

For example, the 2001 Despagne's Ch√Ęteau Mont Perat is described as "a concert given by the rock group Queen, with the wine's acidity taking the place of Freddie Mercury's vocals."

The comic has recently been translated into French and hopefully will have an English one as well.

Alastair said...

Looks like quite a babe! I might buy the book just to see if there are any more pics inside.

Robert McIntosh said...

my guess is that you will be sorely disappointed, but if you do buy it, let me know about the quality of the wine element

... and who gets her man

Ane Miren said...

I can think of three women who really did join the wine trade - Sandy, Anna and myself. But nothing as exciting as "feuds, back-stabbing, sabotage and seduction". Still, maybe someday we'll get to write a book about our experiences..........

Peter May - The Pinotage Club said...

Quite a lot of wine comments in The Archers. Nigel Pargeter has a vineyard and its not the first; the Tregorrans planted one 30(?) years ago and made wine. It was never made clear what happened to that vineyard after the Tregorrans moved.