Two Fat Ladies

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I was lately moved by The Swearing Lady’s look at snobbery and Twenty’s expostulation about the word ‘exquisite’, but not enough to write anything. Now having watched BBC’s The Two Hairy Winos last night I have to put my ha’porth in.

I’m not sure these camped-up head-to-heads are meant to serve any useful purpose beyond entertainment of some kind, but the Oz’n’Jas show is at the very least doing the wine business a disservice, by continuing to reduce to binary the subtleties of where people see themselves in society - a class system no longer clearly manifested by what you wear or even your taste in things generally.

They’re both snobs, like we all are: one is the wilfully pig-headed petrolhead bloke, caricatured as inverted-snob oaf; the other the aesthetic college boy who thinks that if only the oiks would make a tiny bit of effort, they could be lotus-eaters too.

I’ve spent half my life and more thinking that wine is what you have to drink when the beer runs out. Now I know much more about the stuff and can make some distinctions I couldn’t before. That’s my business, both senses. If you want to know the easy way to pick the brilliant bottle out of the 7.99 section in the supermarket - hard luck, there isn’t an easy way. You have to go through a bit of the Oz Clarke culture-science-and-politics-and-the-answer-lies-in-the-soil stuff. But at the same time the preaching faction among the self-styled cognoscenti of wine, or music, or whatever, should know when enough is enough. You can really annoy people going on about pruning methods when all they want is some weekend gargle.

We have to know about the intimacies of wine, because it’s what we deal in. I think, though, there are much better ways of encouraging our customers to buy it than with the sort of exasperated know-ally harangue the BBC got from Oz, whether or not they’re as bloody-minded as Jas May.

Marketing Bubble Brothers, or wine, really doesn’t have to be about wine at all – I like the way the blog-world approach reassures me in that view, and it’s got to be refreshing for the consumer. But perhaps some of us like our advertising crass’n’cheesy (not Twenty); at least like that it’s easy to ignore. There are only so many riddles you can bother your head with in one day.

Technorati tags: wine, Ireland, Oz Clarke, James May, marketing, snobbery