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Wine and Elitism

Wow where can I get a mortgage that low?!! :rofl:


the sad reality is that most countries in the world are “unequal” - its just we know more about the UK situation as thats what we see and hear about. Talking with a Spaniard recently and he said their issues are the same…its just we don’t hear about it

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I dream of the day, in 10 years time, when my mortgage will be £200,000.


I have similar thoughts on music. I avoided getting too deconstructional in its analysis quite early on to avoid always seeing appreciation as an analytical exercise. Doing enough of that elsewhere in my life. I think this has helped preserve my ability to still get moved by very simple musical devices. The likes of which I think would just get compartmentalised for being unsophisticated if I deconstructed it. Sometimes thinking too much about a subject can kill the simple pleasure of it.


I feel that there’s something very special in this. To allow yourself to stay in this place conceivably gives you more enjoyment from music because you’re seeing the joy without the analysis.

Not to say the other place is bad, but not all people see all things the same way. Just look at politics and society today for evidence of this.

I have a deep-held fascination with talent and craft. The painstaking accumulation of practice, knowledge and experience coupled with some innate ability that allows someone to excel at an activity with almost effortless skill is incredibly interesting to me.

Looking at a well-crafted thing, be it a watch or a piece of furniture or an app on an iPhone I believe that even a layman can feel the difference versus an object created without the same skill - even if they can’t articulate it without help.

When my little girl was born, watching our midwife was quite extraordinary. Through years of experience as well as being the exact sort of person who makes a good midwife she guided my wife (and me) through this incredible situation in a way that felt (as an observer) like it was the most unremarkable thing ever for her. That’s not to say she was detached, more that the connection with the situation at hand was so deep it felt like it came from instinct rather than thought. Unconscious competence delivered in a completely perfect “performance”. She read my wife as I’ve never seen. A hand on the shoulder, a look, a word of reassurance almost always a second before even I felt she needed it. A profound experience for me and a privilege to be part of.

The only thing I could compare it to - which sounds lame - is watching an elite snooker player compile a break. Anyone who has ever played snooker knows it’s actually extraordinarily difficult. You’re thinking shots ahead but still have to execute in the moment, recover from mistakes, anticipate. It’s too much for me to handle. But, on a table that’s faster than any you’ve played on and with smaller pockets, a top player makes it look absolutely effortless.

I suppose, herein lies a lot of the fascination in wine for me. The winemaker has all of these moving parts he can’t control in the vineyard affecting the fruit. Come August or September the decisions that need to be made without any real proof of how they will affect the end-product come along and he or she has to make them knowing that to do something wrong might ruin the wine and wipe out the whole year. The skill and craftsmanship in the bottle is what amazes me.


in 2017 pretty bad, but worst not.

To be fair it is a bit of a relative measure taken out of context… If everyone is poor than inequality is low…

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I fully agree. The thought expressed in your final sentence is sad, as you say, but pricing out of the wine market is the least of it - those in the bottom income levels die ten years earlier, on average, than those at the top.

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It depends where you live. Its possible to buy houses for £100,000 where i live and the majority of Semi detatched are under £170,000. In the 1980s i saw a terraced house in Leeds for £8000!

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Wine consumption has gone classless. I see the ‘roughly hewn’ buy a bottle as readily as they would buy a 4-pack. And the cost hardly differs.

I don’t drink expensively. Whereas I’d recognise a good-un, I’m content with lesser bottles, mostly from TWS or Waitrose.

As for education, your university has greater capacity to introduce you to wine than a school. Cambridge is renowned for its well stocked cellars. OK, Cambridge is elitist and few of us have dined with the dons. Be assured, it won’t be £6 a bottle!

I’m finding that being perceived as a wine consumer is regarded more as nerdy than elitist. Interestingly as prices rise, so has the number of friends asking advice about what to buy.


Surely we’re not in the CAMRA corner yet, please?


Ah, but I live in an area with a strong craft brewing presence and I have beer-drinking friends!

I am surprised to read very little in this thread about the learning experience available to us all simply by reading TWS tasting notes and other material. I was given membership in the early eighties and was also fortunate enough to be introduced to a few really good glasses of wine by a friend who knew a lot about it from being in the business. At that time, not having been used to drinking wine at home at all, and still being a student, I could not afford to buy, but some years later was fortunate to be able to buy what TWS recommended in bond and continued doing so gently till about 13 years ago when I stopped almost completely due to moving when I realised that my cellar contained probably more than I could ever sensibly drink. I also very fondly recall the days of TWS offering claret bin end cases at about £100 each which would contain a pot luck variety of wonderful wines already well on their way to being “old”.
So that is how I came to appreciate fine wine and sadly, it would be expensive to go that way now which prevents the interest from being other than elite .


I’m fascinated by the idea of what ‘counts as elite’ or ‘elitist’. Knowing anything about wine - or professing to - and enjoying it seems to be seen as elitist, as can fishing, shooting, cars, classical music… And yes, all these things can be expensive; yet they can also all be experienced very cheaply. From cheaper bottles of wine to local fishing rather than deep-sea, heading after pigeons to help out a local farmer rather than spending thousands on a grouse moor, and any serious classical music promoter or organisation will be all over themselves to offer low-priced tickets to aid their funding strategy.

Is it the fear of the not-understood? The focus on the headlines, which are always about the most expensive or swankiest vintage / front-row high-end opera ticket / whatever? Huge swathes of experiences and hobbies classed as ‘elite’ or ‘out of touch’ are far more expensive to get involved with than season tickets to football clubs (to quote an oft-used example) - none of these things have wide-spread issues of affordability*; just perception of affordability, is that the problem?

(* yes, affordability issues for the poorest, but that’s then true of anything beyond essentials - wine as much as sailing, hi-fi-, car / motorbike racing, skiing, etc.)


[Mind, putting two of those together probably does count as elitist, but it shouldn’t - how about this to marry together two wonderful things of an evening:
https://www.aam.co.uk/bach-burgundy/ ]


Many of these so called elitist activities can be experienced a lot cheaper than many season tickets to football. It’s a lazy and convenient soundbite for many with political agendas to follow, where the truth may be a bit inconvenient for them.


I think this might have been the group Leah was referring to.

Are you drawing a distinction between the kind of people who watch football and those who engage in elitist activities. Because if so it sounds a bit of a ‘lazy and convenient soundbite etc etc etc.’

Where did I say that? No, I’m commenting on the fact that some people seek to contrast the cost of ‘elitist’ activities with so called ‘working class’ pursuits like watching football, to seek to further their own dubious agendas. My point is if anything the opposite - a season ticket for a top club is in many cases more expensive than taking part in many of these so called ‘elitist’ activities.

I’m afraid that yet again you are seeking to misrepresent what I’ve actually said.

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My apologies If I have misunderstood you.

Having re read my post, or at least the part relating to you it comes off as sneery and point scoring. I am fairly sure that we would not agree much politically, however I still do a bit of cricket, used to fly fish and am into wine. So on all the important things I am in complete agreement with you.

I often find myself very wound up by these sort of exchanges and I hope this has not irritated you or got in the way of your day. Until next time, best wishes.


Thanks for your very gracious reply!

We do agree on all the important things and that can’t be bad!!

My local salmon fishing costs me under £100, and the better stuff costs me about £300 a year in a syndicate. My cricket club costs about £130 a year to play at. Adding all these up comes to less than a season ticket for many football grounds! Facts are chiels that winna ding as they say…

Of course, all of these, and wine, are things that a lot more can be spent on… a box at football, a rod on a top salmon river, and buying top wines, but my point is that there is an access point financially for all of these that doesn’t cost a fortune.