The Possession Obsession

11 Sep

wine-stain1-2Two months ago, The Drunken Cyclist, Jeff, challenged all wine bloggers to write a post on a theme. That first one was “Transportation” and you can see my post here. Then the winner of that challenge, The Armchair Sommellier, issued the second challenge. This time the theme was “Trouble” and my effort is here. Now, the latest winner My Custard Pie has selected “Possession” as this month’s theme.

Here goes.

I feel that, on a circular, intersecting continuum of sorts, there are three degrees of wine geeks out there:

winedrinkerThe Wine Drinker – they can be seen at parties, at their dinner table, and wine bars with a glass of their favourite wine, sniffing, swishing, slurping and aahing. Most wine geeks start as Wine Drinkers at the beginning of their journey and, if they’re worth their salt (does anyone know where that saying comes from – without Googling, please), they just must drink wine. No issue like cost, situational appropriateness, or liver enzymes can deter them from their quest to consume wine. Super Bowl? Duh, Spanish Rioja with chili. 110 degrees Fahrenheit? Always well chilled Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine. Winter bon fire? Wineskin filled with Zinfandel.

winebooksThe Wine Truth Seeker – This geek can be identified by:

  1. wine subscriptions piled high in their real or virtual office;
  2. copious tasting notes yet to be entered into their ubiquitous CellarTracker account;
  3. the French AOC, Spanish DO, and Italian DOCG maps on their office wall with pins in appellations so far conquered;
  4. certificate proudly displayed of their membership in the Wine Century Club;
  5. books on their bedside table include Jancis Robinson’s “Wine Grapes”, requiring the presence of a small forklift in the bedroom; and
  6. if they haven’t already, their goal is to someday take a WSET course in the minimum and become an MW at the max.

Confession? I like the geeks stuck in this phase of their development best.

exhorcistThe Wine Possessor – And, you were thinking, “What does this all have to do with the theme?” The rationale for this last evolved species is somewhat unclear. I think it’s a family of origin thing but, then again, I was in social work. The Wine Possessor, in his or her final phase, peruses auction sites, reads the absolutely mind-bogglingly boring section of Wine Spectator and Decanter that deals with fine wine auction prices and….and this is the part I’m trying to get to……….has a label or two in their cellar that has some cache, a goofy story attached, and/or just feels so good to take out once in awhile and hold. But it will never be consumed. Never!

Years ago, when I made the commitment to transition from a Wine Drinker to a Wine Truth Seeker, I started picking up Wine Spectator and Wine and Spirits, put wine books on my Christmas wish list (P.S. I discovered that many wine books have been awarded a citation from the Sleep Disorder Association of America) , and started attending wine tastings – “Is that graphite or bacon on the nose?”. In a lot of the wine magazines out there, there are life style articles about Mr. Dotcom, Mr. Sports Celebrity, Ms. Corporate Star, or other maddeningly shallow people (my value judgment here) who liked wine, decided to learn about wine and bought a 1600 bottle cellar in about three nanoseconds. Why? Because they could! I participated in auctions where more than a few times, one overseas bidder bought up all the fine Bordeaux and Burgundy. How can one person and all their friends, their posse, and family consume that much wine? Ah, but it isn’t the consumption that’s the point. It’s the conspicuous possession. That’s the point of it all. Or so it seems. Why do these poor souls end up possessing wine and not just drinking it?

I’d like to sling arrows at these people but I have a confession to make. I, too, have the possession obsession; albeit with a lower budgetary threshold. I own never-to-be-drank wine too. Now, Lafite? Non. But, I have a few distinctive bottles that no matter how hard I try, I will never drink. Erma Bombeck would say that this wine is like good china. It’s great to own it but no one is ever special enough to deserve a meal served on it. And, this is the weird part, I’m capable of getting more of these untouchables. Oh yeah, on-line auction? Why not bid on the Colgin Lot (sounds like a……..Stephen King title?). And, when it arrives, stash it below for freakin’ ever! And, will I ever take out and open that 1996 Chateau LaTour? Why ever would I do that? If I did I wouldn’t possess it anymore!

Editor’s Note: In an effort to impress, Bill is lying about having in his possession a 1996 LaTour but I do know that he has some untouchables that he values just as highly as he would that bottle.

Bill’s Note: See how it works? I’m even lying about my possessions and, shamefully, about having an editor too.

What’s your wine possession?

Please head to My Custard Pie to read all the submissions before September 23rd where you can vote on your favourite.

24 Responses to “The Possession Obsession”

  1. Stefano September 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Great and very entertaining post, Bill! 🙂
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and wish you all the best for your submission!


  2. marty September 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Well done Bill. Erma would be proud of you. When you do finally decide to break the possession obsession, make sure I’m present!!!


    • Duff's Wines September 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      As always, my first thought would be to include you in any momentous unco0rking!


  3. armchairsommelier September 11, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Fun post!! I’ve never had much of a problem opening my “possession” wine. I think Tuesday is a good reason to open something special. Life is short . . . drink the good wine now!! Salud!


    • Duff's Wines September 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks. I generally feel the same way but there are some exceptions it seems that I can’t get past.


  4. the winegetter September 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Fun post! I am struggling a lot with the topic, you made it fun again!!


  5. talkavino September 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Excellent post, Bill. Same as Oliver here, I’m struggling here with the theme, and there is no help in sight. But then same as Kirsten, I think the wine should be experienced – holding on to the wine just as a collector’s item is not my thing. Yes, I have some good bottles (nothing of the Colgin level, though), and the plan it to drink them later on. The only reason I’m refusing to open some of the bottles is because I consider them too young – I like a bit of an age on my wines…


    • Duff's Wines September 12, 2013 at 1:41 am #

      Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. I really don’t have a big cellar and I can be impulsive about just drinking it up. But there are a couple bottles that I can’t seem to pull the trigger on. I just want to keep them.


  6. vinoinlove September 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Fun post 🙂
    Had some laughs reading it!


  7. Sally - My Custard Pie September 11, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Damn! You’ve somehow crept into my bedroom and seen my pile of Jancis Robinson and other wine tomes!! Hands up – wine geek exposed! I do have an idea about the phrase ‘worth your salt’ having been down a salt mine in Poland. Salt was as valuable as gold and actually used as currency. The word salary is derived from salt (sal). Cracking entry to #MWWC3


  8. foxress September 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    I really enjoyed this post, especially the three stages of wineness. By far, my favorite is the ‘wine truth seeker.’ That sounds so noble. Well done!


    • Duff's Wines September 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      Thanks. I really like being a Wine Truth Seeker and love them as friends too.


  9. thewineraconteur September 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    You have just made me realized that I am not only “possessed,” but that I must have multiple personalities, as I can be all three of your classifications at one time. I may have to ponder this fact while having a glass of wine, looking at the blogs with my Wine Spectator on the side desk, and cradling my Chateau Cheval Blanc 1992. Bravo.


  10. Stacy September 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    If final giggles were votes, you’d have mine now. Great entry! I think we all have a bottle of that 1996 LaTour we cannot bring ourselves to open.
    Editor’s note: No, she doesn’t. But wishes she had.



  11. dessertdigest September 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    You made me laugh. Thank you! Yarn people have their ‘stashes’ as well. Beautiful balls a.k.a. ‘skeins’ too precious to do anything with but admire.


  12. the drunken cyclist September 26, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    First, salt used to be the most valuable of commodities and was often used as a currency–thus worth its weight in salt…. Second I think there is a stage beyond Possessor and that might be Realist. Once you realize that some of those prized possessions are starting to go bad, it’s time to drink them–they ain’t getting any better! I feel you don’t really possess a wine until you drink it….


    • Duff's Wines September 26, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      Thanks. Had heard that the word salary comes from the use of salt as de facto currency. Yes, possessing wines really is about the consumption, isn’t it? I’ve had a couple Brunellos go past their prime by possessing without drinking.


  13. wino2wineknow October 1, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    This is fantastic! I felt like you were peering into my house and seeing my wine books and Wine Spectator magazine stack. And maybe even checking out my Amazon wish list that has a whole other set of books that I’ve committed to ordering but not until I finish reading the ones that I have. And anyone who has an Erma Bombeck saying in their blog post is top notch in my world. 🙂 May you be forever possessed with wine-truth-seeking!!


    • Duff's Wines October 2, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      Thanks for the follow and comment. Looking forward to your posts too. This community is great, varied, and keeps us all active and drinking, I mean tasting wine.


  14. mwwcblog December 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Reblogged this on mwwcblog.



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