Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal wrote this article about Brooklyn’s “hipster” wine list, and while on the whole it was inoffensive, it got my blood boiling. Why? Because I’m so tired of hipster-trend pieces.
ICYMI, it is now 2013. The wine world–just like every other industry, subculture and subset–is nothing if not a glut of choices. What a beautiful thing! The issue that irks me, though, is this need to label the thing as hipster. “Wine people” are already a subculture unto themselves. Need we create a further division?
Before I go on, kudos to the folks Teague highlighted, because they seem knowledgeable and down-to-earth about their lists and clientele. In fact, kudos to Teague, because the article was self-aware and cheeky about its subject. That said, I get that the natural wine movement needs its thing and trophy collectors need theirs, but must we also add to the Internet noise-machine by ceding more ground to hipsters? Last I checked, exploring unknown or budding wine regions like the Jura and the Balkans, much less tasting and learning about smaller, thoughtful producers, fell in the purview of anyone and everyone who enjoyed wine. Or was I mistaken? I like to geek out over things like unfiltered wine produced with indigenous yeast as much as the next guy (or gal), but to my mind, labeling it “hipster” creates an immediate barrier to entry. No one likes claiming the banner “hipster” (trust me, I understand the irony of my writing this post), but this goes beyond even perceived affiliation with hipsterdom: Can. We. Please. Just. Kill. The. Trend?
Answer honestly: who doesn’t like affordable, interesting wine from regions we’d never known could produce awesome juice? I speak for myself here when I say it’s boring to turn back to the same region or varietal over and over again when there are literal oceans and seas of wine sitting in bottles from all over the world. These bottles and casks deserve tasting and exploring by virtue of their existence. Nothing more, nothing less. Good wine, bad wine, shit wine: all of it should be guzzled, trendiness be damned.
Is this a case of “thou doth protest too much”? Let me know what you think.