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Wine Politics

2011 July 12
by Mike

On Monday, I posted a link to a story about the Paul Ryan wine flap. I’ve now written a short piece for Slate’s culture blog offering my take on the matter, including some thoughts on the wine at the center of the controversy.

Update: Susan Feinberg, the Rutgers University professor who confronted Ryan about the wine he was drinking, has now given her side of the story in an op-ed piece for the Newark Star-Ledger.

14 Responses leave one →
  1. November 23, 2013

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you
    design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do
    it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got
    this from. thanks a lot

  2. Jack Bulkin permalink
    August 22, 2011

    Paul has been exposed for his tax loophole hypocracy once again. Beer and wine distributors are at the top of his dollars received group. I guess he was bargaining for some more hedge fund loopholes over his off year Jayer.
    We are swirlling down the John as a Nation and guys like this are seen as heroes of the right.

  3. Robert Kacher permalink
    July 18, 2011

    Sounds like an old Clive Coates debate I had years ago…
    Stay well and have a great summer :-)

  4. July 15, 2011

    Bobby, thanks for stopping by. I’ve had a number of Jayer-Gilles wines over the years, and with all due respect, I’ve just never been overly impressed by what I’ve tasted. In my book, the domaine is indeed a middling producer.

    Apparently, Ryan paid a sufficient share of the bill that he can’t be charged with violating Congressional ethics laws. Since we do pay Ryan’s salary, we are on the hook for those wines, but that’s not something that particularly bothers me. What bothers me–and forgive me for getting political here for a moment–is what Ryan stands for.

  5. Bill Klapp permalink
    July 15, 2011

    Maybe so, Bobby, but Echezeaux, like Clos Vougeot, Corton and perhaps one or two other grand crus, should have been declassified to premier cru status a long time ago! The real issue here, it seems to me, is that somebody grossly overpaid for not one, but TWO, bottles of a middling Burgundy (sorry, don’t care who used to own the dirt; DRC’s Echezeaux and Grands Echezeaux are at the bottom of its grand cru quality scale year in and year out) from an off vintage. I don’t want people that dim printing money. Well, actually, I don’t want any of the corrupt, self-interested cabal that we call Congress anywhere near my tax dollars or the printing press!

  6. Robert Kacher permalink
    July 14, 2011

    Too bad politicians have this kind of budget, and hopefully we taxpayers aren’t on the hook.
    On the otherhand, Domaine Jayer Gilles produces the finest Echezeaux made in Burgundy, and hardly is a middling producer. I know the family well and used to import their wines. This Echezeaux vineyard was the finest parcel owned by Romanee Conti and was sold to Rene Jayer in 1934,, as DRC needed funds to buy a final piece of La Tache.

    I can certainly see why we question these possible expense abuses, but I can’t question their taste in wine :-)

    Robert Kacher

  7. July 14, 2011

    Vraiment, Monsieur.
    I would not want to soil Mike’s site with a screed on politics beyond wine politics, but for your best insight, perhaps a snippet of 100 year old Irish poetry:

    Tournage et tournant dans le faucon de la violence ….,
    Les choses s’effondrent, le centre ne peut tenir … ..;
    Les meilleurs manquent de toute conviction, tandis que les pires
    Sont pleins d’intensité passionnée.

  8. mauss permalink
    July 13, 2011

    Thanks Dan : it appears that this is something dangerous :-)

  9. July 13, 2011

    Closest literally “ouverture de l’écart”.
    But with more meaning of désintégration.

  10. mauss permalink
    July 13, 2011

    Some one to translate that in french ?

  11. July 13, 2011

    “crumbling divide”
    Love it- so apt and so rich. A great addition to our Lexicon Jack!

  12. Jack Bulkin permalink
    July 13, 2011

    Paul Ryan can drink and pay whatever he chooses for wine, food, cars or any luxury, so long as it complies with the laws that restrict donations from lobbyists or contributors. That is his right as it is any non-elected citizen’s. However in the crumbling divide that is the USA, he is also fair game to the press that has the right to express what they deem to be hypocritical or excessive conduct or activities that flaunt in the face of those whose lives his suggested policies would alter.

  13. July 13, 2011

    Well, as you point out- he didn’t have a $350 bottle of wine; he had a $100 bottle for which somebody paid $350. But $50 or $500, I don’t care. Accomplished people are entitled to a rich life if they so choose. On the other side of the coin we have the hair shirt crowd, and among them for every Gandhi I’ll show you 1000 posers, and among them 100 crooks.

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