Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

WSJ Column Makes Wine Industry Sound Sexist-ish

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Resident wine snob Jay McInerney must not have been available for this one—undoubtedly off living in the second person somewhere—so Wall Street Journal columnist Lettie Teague took on the thankless job of investigating the real differences inherent in the gendered wine palate. She learned from a sensory psychologist that women are better smellers than men, prefer less carbonation in their wines, and are sensitive to bitter flavors, hence the reason for Cupcake Merlot or Skinny Girl Margaritas or—dare I say it?—Pharrell's Qream liqueur, delightfully marketed as "a truly elegant experience for the modern day queen and her court of friends." Not even kidding.

The columnist then moved on to Kelli White and Scott Brenner, a domestic couple who are both sommeliers at an upscale St. Helena restaurant. They seemed to be aware of the potential stickiness and treaded lightly. Or, um, White did, at least. Brenner, on the other hand, made the slightly problematic statement that women were "becoming more educated, trying wines that aren't Pinot Grigio." (Later, Teague assembled a co-ed group of six tasters to sample traditionally "male" and "female" wines; the Pinot Grigio was universally enjoyed.)

More heteronormative snippets from the junk drawer:

  • "Men like big, broad-shouldered wines," he said. "It affirms their masculinity."
  • "Women like the name Sancerre. Men like the name Montrachet."
  • "It's a Chippendales wine," replied Gary, in a reference to the male-stripper club.
  • "This is a wine cooler," said Lauren.
  • "manly" red from the northern Rhône
  • and the 2008 Pintas, a broad-shouldered blend
  • "Every wine we selected was her blend. The joke became that I'd get her pregnant every year for blending."

'Men Are From Cab, Women Are From Moscato?' [WSJ]

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