by Guilhaume Gerard, co-owner of Selection Massale
Not long ago in an interview, I came across someone pointing out the similarities between record collectors and wine geeks. Something along the lines of, "they love new and rare offerings.'' And while I understand that rarity and novelty drive some, my experience is different, both as a record collector for the past 25 years, with the thousands of not so rare records that I've assembled, and as a wine drinker who could not care less about the latest, hottest, or rarest.
I understand how one can make the mistake of thinking this game of ours is all so superficial when our industry is judged by its ability to saber fancy champagne standing on the bar, or is so easily duped by young con artists such as Rudy Kurniawan. But I came to wine the same way I came to music, because it gave me incredible pleasure. The sounds, the smells, the tastes I came to experience were so intensely beautiful that I just needed more. Wine and music are all about the emotions they create.
In that spirit, I'd like to write about Britney Spear's 2003 hit “Toxic” and of Mas de Gourgonnier's red wines.
I heard Britney's 2003 single the year it came out and, even though I didn’t instantly love it, it pretty quickly became part of my daily playlist. I'm not going to wax poetic about the drum programming or that synthetic violin that can at times remind you of a cat having a fit, nor will I write in depth about the blend or the viticulture of Mas de Gourgonnier, a place I have never visited, a wine I never imported.
I'm just gonna go straight to the point. Your ears, your palate. It's okay to take your time to figure things out, I spent years buying records to define what I liked. I spent a lot of time drinking wines everyone else loved, silently at the table, listening to other's opinions and knowledge. It's intimidating to have a conversation about what you enjoy with someone who’s very vocal, but whatever it is they like to drink, whatever it is they listen to, they're not you.
There are no rules that dictate what's giving you goosebumps, there are no universal truths about what's gonna move you.
So to hell with those telling me Gourgonnier isn't cool, allocated or natural enough, to hell with those telling me Britney's glorious “Toxic” track is garbage. It's genius to me, and so are these little Provence wines.
Find your “Toxic,” find your Gourgonnier, enjoy.
- Guilhaume Gerard
WINE I'M DRINKING RIGHT NOW: Modelo Especial, in a can by the pool
LISTENING TO: "Viene de Mi" by Ya Legros, a modern Cumbia track with which I'm currently obsessed