“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” – E.F. Hutton
This quote kicked off the chapter in some business or marketing book that I’ve recently read. It’s popular these days to start each chapter with a witty or insightful quote as if to suggest that what the author is about to say will blow your mind. I can’t quite recall the contents of the pages that followed, but I did write down this quote.
We like to fancy ourselves as freethinking, chance-taking, boat-rocking individuals trailblazing our way through the universe like Neil Armstrong in an Armani spacesuit shooting across the horizon in a cold fusion jetpack. In reality, most of us just want to go with the flow. Evolution has hard-wired us to follow the herd. We build friendships and communities based on shared likes and customs. This pretty much explains the sheer number of bottles of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay found on most Thanksgiving tables every November. Just like E.F. Hutton, when the herd talks, people listen.
Wine, in particular, is prone to herd mentality. Think about the times you settled for the safe choice. When forced to decide between something unknown or familiar, did you say, “Screw it, I don’t care if my friends don’t like it,” or “I hear people like Oyster Bay, better stick with that.” It’s okay if you said the latter; it is a direct quote from me uttered sometime a decade ago.
People find comfort in the familiar. The wines perceived to be the most well-known or well liked weigh heavily on our choices. There is serenity in safe bet, but don’t expect amazement. Adventure is more easily found in something new. Rather than offer another Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for you to sip on the rest of the summer, we’re going to throw something at you that maybe you haven’t tried yet. It’s a little white blend we call French Fusion.
This wine comes to us from a winery in the south of France owned by the same family since the 1300s. It’s a blend of 4 white grapes: Vermentino, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier. Pop the cork and you’ll discover a wine full of brisk citrus fruit mixed with hints of peaches and wild herbs. It’s the ideal white wine to pour on the front porch or back deck; beach or barbecue; poolside or pond-side.
Perhaps you are still not convinced. Right now there is a tug of war going on in your head between you and that Armani-clad Neil Armstrong. We just hope his little jetpack has enough force in it to pull you toward what might be your next favorite wine. Go ahead, just let him win this time.