This is my favorite track off the new record. It has two of my favorite music motifs: resolving suspended chords (Pinball Wizard style) and the thing that happens at 0:32 that I don’t have a good way to describe… similar to the change in Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (“the minor fall and the major lift”)
“I think everybody should own a ukulele. People need a way to express themselves, they just do. It’s not like they don’t have time to learn because obviously, they’re watching shit like American Idol. Reality Shows offer nothing but hollow versions and the lowest common denominator of American lifestyles in 2011. I suggest turning off the TV and pick up the ukulele.”—Eddie Vedder in Surfline
I hear this story a lot, so often that I thought it was an urban legend. The tale is one of the snooty wine expert duped into choosing yellow tail over Lafite in a blind tasting.
Recently Jonah Lehrer wrote for Wired about a study showing that even experts couldn’t tell the difference between a $5 and a $50 bottle. According to Lehrer, “The results should upset wine snobs everywhere.”
As a self-proclaimed wine snob (but not one above drinking wine from a box), I can’t say I am upset. I just don’t buy the results. It is hard to “assess” a wine in a sip: A cheap wine impressing you with a promiscuously fruit-forward approach now isn’t a wine that will age well over decades like many – though not all — multi-hundred dollar bottles would.
The simple wine that wows in one taste probably isn’t even the one you would choose to drink a full glass of, let alone a bottle. Upfront, it’s fruity, flavorful and pleasing, but take a second sip and you realize that’s it - there’s no complexity or depth to encourage your palate to linger and explore further.
The biggest problem with taste-offs designed to dispel the notion of a discerning tongue is that usually the right wines aren’t chosen. I can easily show you several $100 bottles that don’t taste better than a $10 bottle. In a recent post, I discussed how our wine team tastes dozens to find one quality wine that has the right taste-to-price value ratio to make the Lot18 cut.
The key is choosing the right $100 bottle worthy of a comparison.
Rather than continue this argument, I see only one way to set the record straight: An old-fashioned taste-off.
Using wines whose price points truly offer pleasure and quality, I think different outcomes will result. Mr. Lehrer, will you indulge your curiosity and allow the Lot18 team to choose the wines for a proper experiment? We eagerly await your reply.