Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wine & King of the Hill

Though set in Texas, most Southerners I know find some way to connect with the setting and characters in Mike Judge's brilliant animated series King of the Hill. Obviously beer was the drink of choice in the show (and must have appeared at least once every episode), but wine showed up from time to time. Typically consumed by the female characters, but the guys get into it once in a while. Hank once demonstrates a bad yet common misconception about wine, referring to half a bottle of his wedding wine that he's been holding onto. An opened bottle of wine, left in a cabinet for nearly 20 years.

In this 12th season episode, Ted Wassonasong says to Kahn Souphanousinphone, "And this 97 Pinot has its own story... It's the au pair who slaps you after you chase her into the kitchen." Which would be a hilarious parody of poetic wine reviewing if I hadn't heard things exactly like that in dozens of tastings. Or occasionally written something like that myself.

Unfortunately, I think King of the Hill tends to reinforce some attitudes that stand in the way of a real American wine culture: the idea that it's a women's beverage, or only for the wealthy, or only for special occasions. But there is another show set in the South that displays wine in a better fashion... Stay tuned!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wine for Normal People

Elizabeth Schneider writes about wine from the burgeoning Southern wineblog center of Atlanta, Georgia with Wine for Normal People, a great name for blog. Because wine isn't a beverage of the elite or effete, it's something that can and should be enjoyed by everyone.

Elizabeth posts about once a week, but when she does it's chock full of photos, maps, and detailed information. It's a scholarly but not snooty approach to the subject that I really admire.

Also, I'm going to take this opportunity to issue a challenge: Texas, Virginia, and Georgia are going strong so far in WITS. I know Florida has to have some more winebloggers, and I'm still looking for folks out there in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Readers and bloggers, send me your links!

"Ever had a drink of watermelon wine?" he asked
He told me all about it, though I didn't answer back
"Ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime,
But old dogs and children and watermelon wine."Tom T. Hall