Oenophobia: The fear and loathing of wine

I know very little about wine. I know you can get drunk on it. But the difference between one wine and another? No idea.

I know that some wines match well with specific foods, but I can’t tell you what they are. I ask the waiter at the restaurant (who probably doesn’t know either, but will get a bigger tip if a more expensive wine is on the bill).

When it comes to selecting wines, I guess a coin flip is the best method. When I do taste a wine I like, I don’t remember what it is, so I can’t buy it again. And if I do remember, the thing tastes different a year later when the new year’s batch of wine is sold.

Bottom line: Drink wine to get drunk. And don’t be a snob about it.

Your kind of place?

Something weird is going on at McDonald’s and no one seems to notice it … except for editorial cartoonists:


From the Los Angeles Times:

After taking a major hit on social media for offering musicians free food instead of a paycheck, McDonald’s has turned about-face on its policy toward the bands that play its showcase stage at this year’s South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas.

The issue arose last week when Brooklyn band Ex Cops took to its Facebook page to complain that the fast-food giant had informed the group there would be no money for a performance on McDonald’s first sponsored showcase stage at the massive music-industry event.


From Slate:

McDonald’s just can’t catch a break. Last week, the company said same-store sales in the U.S. declined a full 4 percent in February. That followed a somewhat disastrous attempt to bring customers back to stores with an awkward “Pay With Lovin’ ” promotion, as well as the late-January resignation of CEO and longtime McDonald’s leader Don Thompson. In what seemed all but an outright admission of defeat, McDonald’s also said in its monthly sales report that it desperately needs to become a “modern, progressive burger company.”

 Now, the company is facing a slew of health and safety complaints from restaurant employees who say they suffered serious burns from hot grease and worked in hazardous conditions without proper safety gear. In one particularly stirring anecdote, an employee says she sustained a bad grease burn to her arm while taking food out of a fryer and was told by a manager to “just put some mustard on it” when she asked for first aid. Over the past two weeks, a total of 28 complaints were filed with federal and state regulators in 19 cities, according to Reuters.

I was at an airport yesterday and heard people complain about the service at the kiosk McDonald’s (order took forever, order was wrong, people at the counter were unorganized and surly).

But given the way McDonalds treats its employees (musical and otherwise), the only thing that came to my mind was, “What do you expect?”