(No actual wines were injured in any way in the writing of this column.)
Prepare yourself, folks. Gird your loins. Lock up your children. Put the dog away. Leave the cat, it’ll be fine. Grab only what you can carry and run for the bunker – it’s about to get a bit real.
What we have for you today is a fight for the ages. A battle born of different philosophies. Hand-crafted small production boutique wines are going head to head with large scale, mass marketed monster wines.
Boutique: -adjective, of, designating, or characteristic of a small, exclusive producer or business.
Monster: -noun, any creature so ugly or bestial as to frighten people.
I was at the weigh-ins last night and let me tell you the monster is definitely the favorite. He’s huge and has millions of fans worldwide, all showing their support. Let’s not count out the underdog, though. He’s looking determined and definitely has the edge with experience. While he has fewer fans, they have been with him from the beginning and are die-hard boutique supporters. So, let’s cover the rules…
It’s a three round fight, each round attacking a specific characteristic of the business and the way each of the competitors approaches it. Both sides of the topic will be argued and at the end of the round we will go to the judge’s scorecards and see who took the round. At the end, we will tally up the scores and declare a winner. Both wine styles are ready to duke it out, so without further ado… let’s get ready to rumble!!
Round 1- Intent
The monster wine comes out swinging aggressively with dozens of critical reviews in the high 80s and low to mid 90s. He’s throwing bombs based on a give-the-people-what-they-want philosophy. There is a lot of aggression being thrown around the ring by the monster’s ad agency and marketing guru’s side-stepping footwork. There is no question he is going for the quick knockout and the big payday.
The boutique wine is using fundamentals to stay in the game, these are moves and methods tested by time and drilled into reflex through decades or even centuries of experience. He’s slipping the opposition and managing to stay on his feet, although there have been some close calls. The monster only needs one hit, one bad vintage the boutique wine can’t recover from, but the boutique wine is a scrapper… and, oh the monster connects with a clean, affordable, easily found wine for the masses.
The boutique wine is rocked for sure, staggering a bit and staying out of range. A ding ding signals the last ten seconds of the round and the boutique wine darts in for a quick, sharp combo of high quality, long heritage and finishes with a critical 98 point review. The bell rings, the round is over and yet, the monster looks undaunted. The boutique wine is certainly the worst for wear. Let’s go to the judges scorecards…. It’s, unanimous, 10-9 from all 3 judges.
The Monster takes Intent!
Round 2- Quality
The monster wine comes out aggressive again with technological advancements in the winery leading to clean wines. He’s lost a bit of a step, though. Looks like he used a lot of energy to move that massive frame of his around and throw all those wild shots in the first round. He’s trying to box in the boutique wine with some fancy labels and eye-catching display props, but the boutique wine uses the same strategy to avoid these bombs, instinctively falling back on a defense of old vines and high elevation vineyards.
The monster plods forward, the little grace he had waning more and more with every moment, he throws out another 93 point critical review, but it’s from a state fair and the boutique wine ducks it and throws a perfect score and another and another and now the monster is on his heels. The monster’s hands are up defending the onslaught with consistent flavor and thousands of testimonials, then flips the momentum as he attacks with…oh my, it’s the screw-cap!!! It lands cleanly, puncturing through the boutique wine’s defenses and exposes the weakness of the cork defense.
Both wines are hurting and tired as we enter the final moments of the second round. Then, lightning quick, the little guy darts inside and unleashes a decades old vertical flight to the body. He’s slinging heavy leather folks, the monster is wincing as each perfectly aged bottle barrages his body, until a corked bottle allows the monster an uppercut taught to him by a famous consultant recently hired to increase quality and then….the bell.
That was one heck of a round folks, let’s see where we stand now….it was a close one this time, but it’s unanimous again, this time all three judges score 10-9 in favor of the boutique wine. Quality goes to the little guy Boutique!
This is it, the last round folks… let’s get to it.
Round 3- Passion
Both fighters are bruised, bloody and gasping. Passion is all about heart and will, so let’s see who has it. The fighters circle each other, throwing out little jabs to feel each other out. They’re holding back for one last onslaught, it seems. The monster wine throws out a prepared mission statement hook, which is no match for the centuries-old family insignia defense. The monster tries again with a combo of charitable donations and organic certification, but they meet nothing but air as the little guy slips them neatly and throws down with a combo of biodynamic and sustainable vineyards.
The monster is on his heels and the boutique wine switches his offense to his secretive family style handed down through the generations; the monster is puzzled and taking damage. He gets hit with a family history of selling assets to keep the winery open, selling juice as bulk in subpar vintages, leaving school to take over the winery after the head of the family passed away and connects with a vicious overhand comeback from bankruptcy after getting excellent press. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It lands on the monsters chin…he’s staggering…and he goes down!!!
He’s not getting up, folks!!
Amazing performances, but the monster wine is out!!!
It’s over!!! Throw the scorecards away, the boutique wine wins by knockout!!!
Well, that was one heck of an experience, folks. It’s settled, boutique wines are superior to mass produced monster wines. It was close for a bit, but the favorite goes down and I think the small, boutique wine may have earned all sorts of new fans and accolades. We wish the monster a speedy recovery and the best for the future.
That about wraps it up for us tonight, but don’t forget next month’s Friday Night Fight… The Heavyweight King of the World: Napa Cabernet is throwing down with The Original French Bad Boy: Bordeaux. We’ll see you then!