Norton Safeweb

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wine vs. Cars

There are wine enthusiasts (sometimes called geeks) and there are auto enthusiasts (not usually called geeks).   There are those who see their vehicle as just an appliance rather than something they enjoy or even lust after.  Think Camry owner vs. Porsche driver.   With wine some just ask for a glass of white wine and don't worry any more about it.  Others want to know the vintage year, country and appellation, vineyard, what sugars the grapes were picked at, etc.

Wine enthusiasts can worry about the most seemingly minute detail of a bottle.  They worry that Syrah was added to the Pinot Noir.  They worry that the Sauvignon Blanc wasn't fermented completely dry. They spend time trying to figure out if they should drink a particular Cabernet in 2015-2017 or if it'll go past 2020.   Oh yeah, they worry if their wine cellar isn't exactly 55 degrees.
Camry. The generic Chardonnay
(or maybe White Zinfandel?) of cars
Image from

Gear heads pour over tire tests before buying a new set.   As they do with brake pads. I can't quite see the Toyota Corolla owner going to the aftermarket for the best fade-free track pads even though they put out dust and squeal when cold.  They would think there's something wrong with their brakes.

Some folks taste a youthful wine with tannins and say, "Eww, that's too dry" without realizing aging potential, but then they don't care.  Fewer and fewer wines are now made for long-term aging.  The style has gone for mass market appeal as wine has gotten more popular. Just as most cars can't even be had with a manual transmission any more.

Wines can be very trendy like Pinot Grigio.  Cars can be too like the Mini Cooper. Pinot Grigio is slightly sweet and fruity, not very distinctive and not too expensive.  The Mini is small, not especially cheap, and has a reputation for high maintenance costs. But people love 'em!

Let's establish some links between wine and cars:

  • Camry = (cheap) Chardonnay. Both are as generic as they come
  • Mazda3 = Sauvignon Blanc. Zippier and cheaper than a Chard. One-tenth the sales.
  • Mini = Pinot Gris. Trendy for unknown reasons.
  • VW Beetle = White Zinfandel. Girly car/girly wine
  • Accord = Merlot. Boring unless you go top-of-the-line.
  • Mustang = Zinfandel. Youthful, high alcohol.
  • Subaru = Syrah. Never quite mainstream no matter how hard it tries.
  • BMW = Pinot Noir. Sophisticated, a bit stuffy, expensive and not always worth it.
  • Mercedes = (high-end) Cabernet. Really stuffy, for old folks. You can brag to friends.