Thursday, February 26, 2009


Well, I was certainly waiting for this. Please refer to the poorly argued and misspelt comment here, sent in by Charlie Brand.

Hello Mr. Brand. Thanks for visiting La Cave de Fang and commenting. Your comments are welcome, and worth taking note of.

It's always fun to critique and judge, isn't it? Certainly more fun, albeit less brave, than putting out your work and creative efforts up for judgement. But really, you could have just been more honest and said what really was on your mind. Instead of rehashing what I wrote, you could have just called as it is, and fingered me out as a petty, pathetic whiner, who needs a reality check and realize Niagara doesn't revolve around him.

It's ok, I can take it. You think you're the first person who's dainty sensibilities I've trampled on? Mr.'re not my first. Guess what? I'm not a sensible person. If you left a reply like that, say, 2 years ago, I would have returned a profanity-laced tirade telling you to go fuck yourself. But no, I'm not like that anymore.

I would argue that visiting vineyard sites and engaging in dialogue with the people involved in the actual production of wine is crucial in fully understanding and enjoying a wine. Otherwise, what's the point of coming up to wine country? Niagara isn't reserved for the folks in St. Catharines, you know. Did you take the 'amateur' comment personally? If so, I apologize - I didn't refer to you, Charles Brand, personally. I hold myself in high regard. I'm glad you do too.

I am in no way a professional. Never attempted to pass myself off as such either. If you'd taken the time to peruse the rest of my posts, instead of singled out this post in particular, you would have picked up on that. Please don't assume things. I majored in economics, I know how useful (or useless) assumptions are in relation to the truth.

Are you one of those clich├ęd anti-intellectual fascists that rail out against what you perceive as "wine snobs"? So you don't care what factors led to how a wine is grown, harvested, and then transformed into wine? You don't care about a vineyards placement, its soil composition, its elevation, its exposition - you don't care how that shapes the flavour profile of a wine? Ohhh.........I guess I'm the only one that does then.

Yes, I don't deny that it's badgering, it's begging, it's obnoxious. But whatever you want to label it as, it's between myself and the great folks at Vincor. I frankly don't give a shit what you think - you havn't read our correspondences, you don't know any other detail beyond what I've offered. Don't be self-righteous, because then you come off sounding as credible as a Roman Catholic priest lecturing against same-sex marriage while he's getting sucked off by an altar boy behind the lectern.

I'd like to suggest another word. It's 'persistence'. I know what I want to get out of a wine country visit, and I'll do anything I can to achieve it. Sorry if you feel like I'm trampling on your turf. And what's worse, Vincor's people havn't told me off yet! I mean, if your reasoning is so sound, they could have just told me to fuck off!!!

I can't let this go, I have to be thorough in my response. See, if you had read through my whole blog, you would have picked up on how long-winded I like to be. You're saying that for a comprehensive view, I'd be better served staying at home, and drinking all the wines side by side? Do you understand what I'm describing by 'comprehensive'? Let me explain.

With regards to the term 'comprehensive', I'm describing everything that goes into a wine. Everything. The kinds of things that you can't learn just by drinking. That means touring the vineyard, talking to the production people, and really explaining why La Petite Vineyard tastes different than Claystone Terrace wines. I'd like to ask you what you mean by 'comprehensive'? You mean just talking about bouquet, colour, palate, finish? Come on man, you can do that shit anywhere. Again, why don't you just say what's on your mind. What you're really getting at is, "You're not welcome in Niagara, so stay the fuck away!!"

In any case, Mr. Brand, I'm not a rich man. Unlike say, you, for example. I have all the 2006 Le Clos Jordanne lineup of wines, but I quiver at the thought of opening them. But hey, if you're ever hosting a comprehensive horizontal tasting of top Niagara wines, please extend an invitation to me. Oops, there I go soliciting free tastings again!

I don't like confrontation, I really don't. I've seen where this kind of negative exchange goes, and it's not pleasant, for either party. You don't know me, and I don't know you. We both have our opinions and ways to go about things, so let's keep it at that. I'm not angry or mad, just a little disappointed that once again, people are making generalizations and assumptions, and taking things out of context.

I apologize if you feel insulted. And please, when you write the next scathing review of my moral character, please use paragraphs. Oh, and I assure you, we're still paying for the tastings. We're just not doing it with the rest of the plebs. Oh snap!


As commented on my last post: "Hey Vincor, help me out"

Hi I rarely say anything on a blog, but I’m interested in wine and spend a fair bit of time rattling around the internet with a particular interest in the wines of Niagara because like you I am lucky enough to live close enough to visit the region quite regularly. Your recent post about wanting to go on tour at Le Clos Jordanne is frankly outrageous. First off your clam that the so called fun tours are for the amateurs is curious because I don’t think that you are a wine professional in any sense of the word are you? Secondly will knowing all of the technical things change how you enjoy the wine or will it just give you something else to write about. If you are really interested in getting a comprehensive picture of the wines I think that you should just go out and buy them, surly tasting the wine from different plots of ground and comparing them to other wines from the area is the best way to make up your own mind, or is it that you are all students who are all on an extremely tight budget and through badgering and begging you hope to get a private tour and so taste the wines for free? To my mind there is no confusion you are a clueless dope.

Charlie Brand


  1. Hi sorry for the bad spelling and lack of punctuation. I was being honest when I said that I don’t often post on blog’s so wasn’t aware of your grammar requirements, but I think that you understood what I meant, and after all isn’t that the essence of communication. On the billboard under your blog’s eponymous title you say that you want to get rid of the nonsense, and give us a different perspective without any snobbery.
    From my point of view (22 years and counting in wine retail) your site if full of nonsense described to its readership with a great deal of snobbery
    I hope that you enjoy your touring around Niagara we can at least agree that there are some very nice wines in our backyard.
    You need not reply I won’t be watching

  2. I agree that this site is full of snobbery and sounds incredibly- incredible. I don't even know whether the content here is legit since I was unable to sift through the horrible writing itself. As someone who has studied literature all my life, in various languages, good writing is not the ability to write sentences with lots of adjectives.

  3. Come on, be more creative. I've been called a snob ever since I started this blog. And are you so different? Trying to intimidate me into what, shying away from my keyboard in awe your liguistic mastery of SEVERAL languages?

    I can take criticism. If you think my writing's so terrible, why don't you do 2 things.

    1) Recommend ways that I can improve. Don't sit there, self-righteously passing down judgement without any substance. You've been a student of literature all your life? For all I know, you could be 12 years old. If you're so wise, please share your knowledge. I would appreciate it. What I despise is judgemental drivel from anonymous lurkers. Don't be a bitch.

    2) The second one is much more simple. Piss off, and go read your Shakespeare instead.

  4. 1. "'La Cave de Fang' is dedicated to true wine lovers. I am not a critic nor an educator, not a wine nerd nor an expert. Let's get away from all that nonsense and just focus on the experience. I want to give you a different perspective on the grand world of wine, without any of the snobbery that it's been tainted with."

    2. I did give you recommendations: more content and less adjectives.

  5. Is #1 supposed to be some kind of ironic self-criticsm, like I don't realize how bad my blog description is? I don't get it. Please explain.

    Hey man, I'll be honest with you. I don't drink wine everyday. I wished I had the resources to do so, but I don't. And I agree that a wine blog written without actually drinking any wine is bullshit. I'm working on that.

    And about the adjectives - I'm describing wine here. What literary tricks can you teach me, to describe wine without the use of adjectives?

  6. I *wish* I had the resources to do so...

    Need to be careful with my grammar around a linguistic master!

  7. Honestly, where do you people come from? How does a grown man, with 22 years of experience in wine retail, have time to sift through blogs and happen to start something on this guys page? With 22 years of experience you have encountered more people like Mr. Fang here. So what do you do? Start something every time someone is snobby? How did you get by in any retail business for 22 years? Charlie Brown please put that 22 years of experience to use and fuckin' grow up.

    For the guy who is too chicken shit to put his name out there, how do you get the balls to say if this guys stuff is legit or not? We don't even know who the fuck you are! And then you go off on his language skills. Why would you do that? How many blogs do you have to go to every day and tell that blogger, "hey, um... your writing is bad, take my word for it, I study this shit." Or are you just jumping on the band wagon cause Charlie Brown started being a jackass? If you're 12, use the rest of your youthful days to be a dumbass, you'll be forgiven. But if you are some sad old man/lady, grow up!

    This guy is sitting here putting up posts of a regular basis to let people know how he feels about a very specific thing, Wine. He's not some high school girl blogging about how she can't handle her boyfriends need to be independent. Even if that were the case, you wouldn't jump of the poor girl’s blog and start bitchin about the grammar and snobiness and how life just sucks. Have some respect here, you got something to say, don't be a dumbass about it.

  8. Ahhh, the Universe has spoken!

    Thanks very much, sir, for relaying so eloquently exactly what's on my mind. The fact that these two queens didn't make a single comment about wine should have told me something.

    For Charlie B to say he was in wine retail and then not critique my wine knowledge or anything I've written about wine tells me how insecure he (or she) is about the topic. You really have nothing to add to the discussion do you? And please, if you have 22 years of experience in wine, then I'm the Pope, blogging from the Vatican's ultra-highspeed WiFi.

    As for the Anonymous runt, is that it? Don't want to spar anymore? If you're going to criticize someone, stand up behind your criticism. Don't be a hit and run wuss. Respond, and shoot me down with your intellectual superiority. Excuse me, intellectuals actually like to debate. You're as intellectual as the (polite) janitors that sweep the buildings on U of Waterloo campus. You claim to be in literature, and hang around PhD types all day. They do too!

    Don't be bitter, because I'm actively pursuing my hobby beyond drinking at home. Don't be upset that I'm interested in getting to know the people in Niagara, and am able to taste vintages in each stage of production, before bottling and release. I'd suggest you pick a hobby yourselves, be dedicated, and as per Mr. Universe, "...please put that 22 years of experience to use and fuckin' grow up."