Shut up and enjoy it

sun-picture.jpgA month or so ago I started a post after attending a rather cool event – International Sidewalk Astronomy Night, which is all about bringing appreciation for astronomy to local communities. Enthusiasts and cosmo-heads throughout the world bring small telescopes and binoculars out into their local neighborhoods, allowing passers by and local people to use the equipment so as to get a clearer view of celestial bodies.

The thing is, you don’t need to be an astro-physicist to enjoy the stars, because they’re cool in and of themselves. It may be interesting to learn certain facts about how planets were formed through accretion, or how much oxygen exists in moon rocks, but none of that stuff has to do with the actual aesthetic. Staring at the stars starts with an initial feeling of wonderment, and all knowledge is secondary and not obligatory.

Sometimes I wish wine enthusiasts could be a little more like sidewalk astronomers. There’s no need to lord knowledge over anyone, and for the most part wine is more about the opportunity to get in the room with like-minded people, because I know that I have to keep my wine talk to a minimum around my friends, who just cringe at the mention of tannins and bouquet. The truth is, most of us don’t want to talk about wine in its finest details, much in the same way as we enjoy a movie as a whole and save the analytics for Ebert and Roeper. To keep pointing out the characteristics of a wine throughout a conversation can thus be akin to continuously talking during a movie and pointing out small details much to the annoyance of others ‘who just like to watch.’

So perhaps the next time you’re kicking back with a nice glass of vino and someone starts blagging on about wild yeasts, time on the lees or malolactic fermentation, you just need to take the advice of the Wine Cynic and serve them ‘a full-bodied glass of Shut the *@!% Up.’

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Posted in Wine | 2 Comments »

  • http://www.myspace.com/gamay Kathy

    Amen! What is enjoyable about Astronomy night (I attended a similar event at the Schenectady Museum a few years back) is that friendly strangers share the MEANS to help you see the stars FOR YOURSELF. The discovery is all about your eye and the telescope. Then if you want to, you can ask questions.
    Wine is no fun if there’s someone over your shoulder telling you the scientific basis of what you’re tasting.
    Funny wine stories, on the other hand, are a whole different ball game!
    Kathleen

  • http://www.myspace.com/gamay Kathy

    Amen! What is enjoyable about Astronomy night (I attended a similar event at the Schenectady Museum a few years back) is that friendly strangers share the MEANS to help you see the stars FOR YOURSELF. The discovery is all about your eye and the telescope. Then if you want to, you can ask questions.
    Wine is no fun if there’s someone over your shoulder telling you the scientific basis of what you’re tasting.
    Funny wine stories, on the other hand, are a whole different ball game!
    Kathleen

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