Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

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Wine geek, foodie or both?

Much more knowledgeable about food than wine.
1
3%
Much more knowledgeable about wine than food.
8
28%
I know a great deal about both food and wine.
20
69%
 
Total votes : 29

Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:54 pm

Matt Kramer has an interesting comment last week on how he came to writing about wine:

"They were simple times (thank heaven) [when he began writing about wine.] . And in the provincial reaches where I worked, where the chilled salad fork was seen as the height of dining refinement, I was safe.

Later, after devoting myself exclusively to wine, I was surprised to learn that my fellow wine writers did not come from the food world. Many of them, in fact, were former sports writers.This was a shocker. They talked (and wrote) about wine as if they were trading baseball cards.

There's still, to this day, a major divide between the food and wine worlds.You might be astonished to discover how little many food writers (and chefs) know about wine. And how little many wine writers know about food."


Kramer's hypothesis, like many of his ideas, made me think hard about his basic point. I know in my case, I ate lots of food before I came to wine, that I learned a great deal of factual information about wine, and only then tried to learn about cooking in a serious way. Today I would rate myself pretty low in terms of expertize, but learning about food and wine at about the same rate.

But there is a clear divide. In Julia Child's memoir about her life in France, she describes her husband Paul as someone who set up a tasting group, who collected incredible amounts of information about various wineries and wine regions, but who really didn't know much about food -- even though he enjoyed her cooking thoroughly.

Of course, Julia went the other way -- threw herself into learning about French cooking with some incredible results. But, although she clearly enjoyed wine and had some nice ideas about matching food and wine, her basic wine knowledge was, she admits more than once in this memoir written at the end of her life, pretty superficial.

How about you? Which category do you fit into:

1. Much more knowledgeable about food than wine.

2. Much more knowledgeable about wine than food.

3. Kramer's full of it -- I know a great deal about both food and wine.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:02 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Matt Kramer has an interesting comment last week on how he came to writing about wine: ... There's still, to this day, a major divide between the food and wine worlds.You might be astonished to discover how little many food writers (and chefs) know about wine. And how little many wine writers know about food." [/i]


Thanks for posting this, Bob ... it might have been fun to have used the poll function to set up a straw vote!

I'm going to claim a place behind Door No. 3. I don't think Kramer is full of it at all ... I think he's right ... but by nature and by profession, I've tried to make it my business to build some expertise in both food and wine.

But that said, it has never failed to amaze me that by every measure I've encountered - including FoodLetter subscriptions vs Wine Advisor subscriptions, and Foodie Forum traffic as opposed to Wine Forum traffice in various generations of this forum - only about one-fourth of serious wine enthusiasts, by my rough guesstimate, seem to be very serious about food.
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:06 pm

"Straw Vote"

Don't know how -- is it too late?

Otherwise, why not delete our three posts and start over, Robin.
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:26 pm

Bob Ross wrote:"Straw Vote"

Don't know how -- is it too late?

Otherwise, why not delete our three posts and start over, Robin.


Not too late, Bob. I went ahead and put in a poll. For future reference, it's very easy to add a poll on any forum post. Just look at the "Add a Poll" section <b>below</b> the message entry box, and it should be self-evident.
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby Gary Barlettano » Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:07 am

Interesting question. I feel I know very little about food or wine, but I know the basics of what I need to know as a consumer.

As regards wine, I literally wanted not to have to buy a pig in a poke when I went wine shopping, so I started learning how to read wine labels which, of course, entails a heck of a lot of interesting stuff. My interest has grown from merely reading labels, but I am still driven by a fundamental need to know what I'm buying.

As to food, I've always loved to cook, but never had to cook "right" until I became a single parent. Moms and Mr. Moms are held for downs every meal of the day on every day of the week. I took the time to learn to cook adequately consistently. My innate curiosity makes me poke my nose into culinary areas which are not necessarily day-to-day requirements, but here again I am driven by the rudimentary fact that I still have a daughter to feed on a daily basis.

In sum, I think I know an equal amount about both wine and food which is not to say that I know a lot about either. I know what I need to know to do what I have to do and assuredly would like to know more but can give emphasis to neither.
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby James Dietz » Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:33 am

My interest in wine led directly to an interest in food to accompany it. Plus, lots of early wine OLs I attended were held at damned good restaurants that opened my eyes (and mouth) to the wonders of really good food.

I have to say that being a friend of the gracious and vivacious Jenise Stone when she lived in California helped immensely both my wine and food education. I owe her a lot.
Cheers, Jim
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby Sam Platt » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:49 am

My Grandfather always said that to truely know something you have to be able to teach it. By that definition I am not very knowledgable about food, or wine. I know what I like in both, but I struggle with articulating why I like it. That's the reason I don't post more tasting notes. Even after several years at this I have trouble clearly and concisely conveying what I like, or don't like about a specific wine.
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:53 am

Sam Platt wrote:My Grandfather always said that to truely know something you have to be able to teach it.

I came to that same conclusion many years ago. I've been teaching seminars and courses on home winemaking, off and on, for 25 years and I'm still learning. :?
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby John Treder » Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:28 pm

My answer would be

4: I don't know a whole lot about either, but I sure like food and wine!
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby Howard » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:17 pm

I'm with you John, I like them both. I came to good food after starting to learn about wine. I've got loads to learn about both but can't imagine one without the other.
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good bal

Postby Otto » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:55 pm

I'm always ashamed of how little I understand food. I love good food and am prepared to pay the extra to go to nice restaurants. But I suck in the kitchen. I can make a pretty damn nice mushroom risotto, but that's about it. And even the risotto is hit and miss. I only get it done excellently every third try or so. :( I am a beginner in food and slightly less so, but still a beginner, in wine.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Are you a Wine Geek, a Foodie, or pretty much a good balance of both?

Postby John Treder » Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:13 pm

I can't say I came to understand either better first.

I started to learn about cooking when I was 10 or so, cooking breakfast treats on the weekend. Then came a hiatus for high school, college, the Army (the label on my front said YMRASU, only upside down), and all that stuff. But Mom and Dad usually had a straw bottle with the spaghetti on Saturday, and my curiosity was piqued.

Time and experience have degraded me until I arrived here! :-)
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