“How do you spot a hipster wine? It costs twice as much as it should and has got a bearded twat hanging on to it” As far as comment sections go, this is king. As far as topics go, this has got to be a new twist in wine relations; hipster wine.
It was bad enough when they all started to define their individualism by wearing the same clothes, being the same elitist smart arses about nintendo game boys and discussing the correct style typewriter to go with their shameful knowledge of vinyl whilst pretending to be experts in the stuff. Men had to grow beards and women had to be seen carving spoons because that’s what being a hipster means, being at one with nature, or something about being artisan; it’s the same thing really.
And that is what is happening to the wine world, apparently. Oak aged barrels are shunned for being, well, too oaky. Flavoured wines are described as putrid and anything that is overly anything is now a bad thing. Too dry, too sweet or too crisp and it is lauded as a bad wine. The remote part of me that may be right wing wants to call the complainers “snowflakes” but I won’t. I’m not called Nigel (1) and don’t have the personality of a digested ploughman’s lunch.
I thought we hit a low with brosé. The term given to twenty-something men that in search of peak masculinity and popping their wine virginity by drinking poorly produced wines. They would then go on to make poorly produced rosés that then go on to sell for £30 a bottle because they’re from ‘the valley’. It was the perfect drink for a brodown (2), and yes, that’s a word, somehow.
It matches the douchebag nature of men that have little substance and many insecurities. Blame it on the emotional repression given by your dads, lads, that’s what we all do.
Then there was, Progrigio, but that wasn’t a low, it was more like a slap in the face of “drink sensibly” and something called, “good taste.” At least here, they had an answer, it was for the lovers of pinot grigio and prosecco. The answer to this is simple, I love baked beans and sports illustrated (something I can share at browdowns), doesn’t mean that I should, or could, cross streams.
But the term ‘hipster wine’ should make you wince for two reasons. The first is obviously the level of conversation you would get from a wine tasting session. Bearded folk and spoon whitlers sharing wine stories about where they’ve ended up after a session is unlikely to happen, instead it would probably sound more like, “when I harvested grapes in the loire valley…” or “I’m saving for a wine retreat in Alsace…” Just because you picked them mate, doesn’t make you an expert, it makes you a picker, and a twat…
Just because you picked them mate, doesn’t make you an expert, it makes you a picker, and a twat…
The second point however should smart because, you know, they’re going to save the wine industry.
Just like the way they saved coffee (in the UK), made people want single speed bikes, showed us that beards could be cool when waxed. Bow ties look ace on them, man or woman. Colourful shoes and trouser braces were never seen out of Pitti Uomo (3) but now, these bastards wear them all the time.
They brought vinyl back even at the cost of raising fuel prices because they cycle everywhere. Plaid shirts were lost after Pearl Jam turned them into waist garments and for some reason, I want to believe that the £300 wall antlers really do have a purpose other than decoration perhaps a weapon, I don’t know. Maybe a hipster could use them to survive a zombie apocalypse, or would they think that a zombie apocalypse was cool, and join them.
And what is wrong if they do save the wine industry? I’m not sure, I’ve thought for longer and harder when people have asked existential questions like, “do you believe in life and after death? No” or “would you rather play guitar like Prince (4) or fight like Bruce Lee?” It’s been three months, I still don’t have an answer.
“would you rather play guitar like Prince or fight like Bruce Lee?”
The point of hipster wine is that it is beyond what people would class as organic, and thus artisan. It’s about grape varieties, reduction or no chemical usage and a manufacturing style that takes wine back to a time when Charles Dickens was the world’s best writer and the last grand tourer’s were getting mugged in Florence.
Think of hipster wine as being more orange coloured for a white variety, reds to be paler, the acidity level to be higher, but that’s OK because that means it has more flavour without the use of injecting it with unknown chemicals. Oak barrels will be replaced with neutral containers, the kind my dad use to use and his wines were lovely, if they weren’t trying to kill you in the bottling phase. The professionals say they “bring greater complexity and elegance; extended contact with the skins in white wines to bring more grip and depth.” Sounds rather nice to be honest.
Pinot noir, syrah, chenin blanc and gamay, these are the types of hipster wine you need to look out for. They are shunning the mass produced stuff, because, they’re hipsters, that’s what they do.
Is there something wrong with all of that? Is there something truly wrong with a group of people trying to push the wine market forwards by saying “no, we don’t want crappy, mass produced, chemically augmented wines. We want fresh, good quality, funky colour styles. Stuff which you can be proud to drink, and pay a good price for?”
No, there probably isn’t, I just wish it wasn’t a hipster doing it.
1) Contrary to popular belief, this is not about Nigel Farage. The toad scrotum looking, bigot spewing, xenophobic rattling, rose tinted spectacle knob head who gets paid a wage from the EU and does no work there doesn’t deserve more publicity. I was obviously talking about a random man named, Nigel.
2) A browdown is a lads night out. A lads night out involves, beer, beer, beer, beer, shots, beer, shots, beer, bad language, shots, dodgy nightclub, dodgy conversation, dodgy beer, dodgy kebab, dodgy night…
3) Pitti Uomo is a man’s fashion event held in Florence every year. The men are as slick as a baby seals belly, and the women watching them as steamy as a Norwegian sauna.
4) Seriously? Seriously!