Showing posts from November, 2007

Star. Bucks. See? Now you get it.

"As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it."
- Dick Cavett
A fascination with trends can distract people from reality. Whether it's clothing, paint colors, language, television, etc., it's easy to lose track of what's important; or at least what is in good taste. Or even what actually tastes good. We're easily conditioned; simply seeing something often enough can make it, not only familiar, but acceptable and possibly desirable. Take for example how quick we are to recognize a pair of white cords dangling from the ears of someone walking down the street. Then there are the bite-sized dogs being carted from store to store by their owner as she babbles on a cell phone. Obviously the flurry of Paris wannabes is an extreme example, but that degree of influence trickles down.

Yet another symbol - the white cup with a green circular logo wrapped in a brown cardboard jacket topped with a bit of plastic - goes unabated. They, …

The Road Less Taveled

My exposure to wine was largely non-existent prior to 1996 or so. White Zinfandel, I’ll admit, was about the only wine I distinctly recall drinking. I suppose I just wasn’t a “wine” person. Yet.

At 28, I met my girlfriend “Gigi” who had been a chef at several noteworthy places in San Francisco. During the 2 years we were together, she taught me more about food than I had any right to know without the same rigorous training she had endured. While teaching me how food "works", she also unwittingly ingrained the notion that food and wine are inseparable.

Years later, I got to experiment with that combination of food and wine as I traveled on a robust expense account. Part of my job to travel and take potential "influencers" out for a good meal. Hey, someone had to do it. However, as I've learned from Jeffrey Steingarten, we must sometimes "unlearn" before we learn. One must overcome prejudices in order to appreciate food, travel, or even other human bein…