In My Opinion, Your Opinion Sucks
While not always successful, I try to live by a few key phrases:
- “Will it matter a month from now (or even a year from now)?” ~ Worry
- “The greatest treasure is having someone to share it with” ~ Family
- “All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial” ~ Balance
Lately I’ve been thinking about two other principles as they relate to blogging, twitter and wine. Let me tell you both and then I’ll explain them.
- When given a choice, being nice is always the best option
- Opinions are like assholes, we all have them and most of them stink
As I mentioned in the first sentence, these are words I always, most of the time, try and periodically succeed at living by. Those that know me “IRL” (in real life), are probably saying, “yeah, you remember that one time…” I can be a hot head. Lack of food and stupid people are not a good combination in my world. Other people’s children, disrespect toward my wife and ignorant statements make my blood boil. How is this related to blogging, twitter and wine? Hold tight, you’ll see. The point is, often times we’re presented with situations that tick us off, opinions we don’t agree with and wine that we wouldn’t use as flavoring for the swill fed to our enemies pigs (ahhhh…I see where he’s going with this).
Pulling out a quote from my days as a youth pastor; “A harsh word stirs up dissention, but a gentle response turns away wrath.” Recently a wine writer joined the blogger sphere and caused some excitement with his pompous portrayal of traditional media and his alluding to his vast experience as being superior to the hobby wine bloggers. Were his statements narcissistic, egotistical and uninformed? You bet! Could he have chosen different words to convey his message of credibility? Absolutely! This mini-controversy showed the power of twitter, the reality of carefully crafting your brand and provided three examples of how to respond. Some chose the rude and insulting route. One blogger I read crafted a great post that firmly, yet respectfully, called out the ill-worded bio. Others chose not to comment at all, relying on the very first point in this post, “will it really matter one month from now (or even one year from now). In a world when a single tweet can ruin your reputation, being nice is always the better option.
How does this relate to wine reviews? Reviewing good wine is fun. The hard part is thinking of creative ways to say, “This is the best damn juice since that wedding in Cana,” or “Do whatever you can to get a case of this; mortgage your home, sell your kids, show some cleavage to get your lips on this bottle.” Reviewing bad wine or even average wine that is overpriced presents an option to be nice or to be rude. One approach is to say, “this tastes like yak piss,” or “even looking at this bottle will damage your taste buds, the whole lot should be buried at the bottom of the ocean.” Considering that the bottle you’re holding most likely represents someone’s hard work and dreams, a better approach is to be factual about what you’re experiencing, “the aroma profile on this wine has an off smell of dirty socks and burnt cherries and the mouth feel is thin, tepid and off balanced.” This is actually one reason why I’m a fan of scoring wine, whether it’s a 100 point system, 13 point scale or some sort of A through F approach. Providing the description of what you’re smelling and tasting along with a quantified score leaves no doubt as to your opinion on the wine. A score of 75 points indicates your dislike for the wine without having to be abusive and rude.
This leads me into my final point. These are my opinions. This is how I operate.
Opinions are Like Assholes. Everyone has one and most of them stink.
Blogs. Birthed as a medium for people to provide an ongoing record of their opinions and experiences. The very nature of the web log is a platform on which people can stand and shout out their opinions. Many things in life are based on fact. Two plus two always equals four (except in the world of political economics, but that’s a whole other post). Reviews of books, discussions on politics, dissertations on Star Trek, the quality of American Idol contestants, what LOST is all about, biblical analysis, and even wine is open to many subjective stances. These are called opinions. Chances are you started a wine blog because you had opinions about wine and you wanted to contribute your experiences to other people. How you do it is up to you?
If your blog is a description every night of what you taste, good for you! If you’re attempting to promote a region of the world, go for it. If you are out there and think all bloggers are barking poodles yapping for attention, fine! It’s your opinion. I may not like it. I may think you suck, but that is also my opinion. Why do we get bent out of shape when someone disagrees with us? Will it really matter one month from now (or even one year)? Could we fire back with 720 words of text that would make a hooker blush? Sure, all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. If we disagree, can we put together the point, counter point in a well thought out argument with differing views of the issue in an intelligent and respectful way? Absolutely! When presented with the choice, being nice is always the best option!
I have opinions:
- There is no way that a $200 wine is four times better than a $50 wine, but if you want to pay that kind of money for it, more power to you. I’ll buy four $50 bottles.
- I like point ratings on wine.
- The three tier distribution system is unconstitutional, un-American, and hinders small business.
- Washington makes the best wine in the world.
- Rush is not the greatest rock band ever (sorry, Joe). That title is reserved for The Beatles
- The new health care system is a crime against humanity. Ten years from now we’ll look back on it as being the biggest mistake of government in the last 100 years.
- The Bible is the inspired word of God and I try my best to live up to the words within. My humanity keeps getting in the way.
- Wine, more than any other beverage, is social, living, active and full of passion.
These are my opinions. I have my reasons, many of which I can back up with intelligent discourse. If you disagree with me, I’ll respect that too. We all have our opinions, that’s why we’re here. Being nice in our retorts and cross fire is always the best approach.
Cheers and Drink Happy!
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