Thursday, April 23, 2009

A New Way to Be Pretentious

I'm all for anything that de-mystifies wine and wine-drinking, but I think this is going too far. According to this N.Y. Times article:

Before going to La Cave des Fondus, it’s wise to warn your dining companion that the wine is served in baby bottles.

. . . For the record, the bottles are made of glass, not plastic. The egg-yolk-colored latex nipples have been slit so you can drink, not suckle. And the embossed measurements mean no cheating on the wine pour — you get eight ounces.

The joke is that the French word for baby bottle (biberon) is also slang for a bottle of booze. The idea to conflate the two originated at Le Refuge des Fondus, in Paris, which La Cave is modeled after, down to the tightly set communal tables and benches that require clambering over your neighbors.

It's one thing to lend a casual air to wine-drinking; it's a whole 'nother to lend an infantile air to it. The irony is that drinking wine out of "baby bottles" is at least as pretentious as drinking wine while babbling on with wine-speak terms.

Wine-drinking shouldn't be stuffy. But neither should it be deliberately silly.

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