Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
You’ve always wondered, haven’t you?
What would happen if all the labels were taken off all the wine bottles in the world and then all you had to go on was the wine itself?
This is, of course, what happens at wine competitions.
At least in theory.
You suspect that, at some, winks are tipped and nods are given as to which wine is which.
Sometimes, though, the best wine really does win.
And at the Decanter World Wine Awards, the Platinum Best In Show was won by the La Moneda Reserva Malbec from Chile.
The Best In Show Award goes to the best red costing less than 15 British pounds. Or, to you, around $ 21.
You might expect, therefore, that the La Moneda Reserva Malbec retails around $ 20.50.
It does not.
All you have to do is waft to your local Asda supermarket (it’s owned by Walmart) and get a bottle for 4 British pounds and 37 British pennies. Or pence, as the Brits call them. This is just over $ 6.
You’re still sniffing, I fear.
You’ll think there were just two judges and one has a Chilean husband who works for Asda.
Not so. There were 240 judges from all over the wine world.
You want the tasting notes? Here are some from the judges: “Freshly crushed black fruit, creamy vanilla yogurt and pepper spice.”
You might know this as dessert at your local farm-to-table establishment.
It’s tempting to believe that the more expensive a wine, the better it must be.
Even though your soul tells you this isn’t necessarily the case.
Once, I was in an enormously celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago and stumbling through the restaurant’s wine pairings.
One wine was particularly good. I Googled it.
It was $ 13 a bottle at the winery.
I admit to tasting a lot of wine in my role as Wine Ambassador for Honig Winery in Napa. (Of course I recommend the winery’s excellent quality, value and sustainable practices. Really.)
I confess on my wine travels to being sometimes stunned by wine that tastes, to me, like New Balance sneakers after a two-hour hike enjoying the price of a two-night stay at a very decent country bed and breakfast.
That’s the point, though. Wine is subjective.
It becomes, perhaps, slightly less subjective when 240 experts drink red liquid out of an anonymous glass and hope that it won’t make them instantly clutch at their nostrils and throats.
Naturally, La Moneda Reserva will instantly be selling out and, should it return, who would be surprised if it will cost slightly more monedas?
The joy, though, surely comes from the idea that money doesn’t buy you love.