Duh Phrases and Bottled Cocktails

Okay, go back and read the first part of that headline not assuming “Duh” is a New Orleans stand-in for The, but rather in the newest use as defined by teen-speak. They, and now us, like to use the term when someone says something so obvious it almost did not need to be said.

Duh is shorthand speech, used in a derogatory, condescending tone to respond to a statement, and the one word means, “Everybody knows that,” or “Of course. What else could it mean?” or “Are you really that stupid to state such an obvious fact, or do you think I am?”

I bring this up because I am tiring of hearing the same phrases over and over again, applied to the same situations, at different times, with the speaker assuming they are disclosing something brand new.

In the world of football broadcasting, we hear repetitively, “They will be coming out in the second half with answers,” after a team is burned for 24+ points in the first half. They’d better have some answers or we will all be flipping channels over to The Basket Weaving Network.

Or the announcers note, “It’s Third Down and 27 to go. This is an obvious passing down.” That is unnecessary to say. Dead air, with no comments, is preferable to hearing such drivel.

Or, “This team has so much heart.” Having heart instead of having talent makes for poor television, unless you are watching surgery on The Hospital Network.

However, it’s the wine world that really has raised my duh-index today. I interview a lot of winemakers for my radio show. (shameless plug: "The Wine Show," Fridays, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m., WGSO, 990 AM. Streamed: www.wgso.com) Winemakers are universally nice people. They've got a great gig: working outdoors, growing something wonderful that later will be transformed into something beautiful, having a lot friends who love what you do, always drinking good juice.

But they say things that do not fully express the miracle of their efforts. “All wine is really made in the vineyard” is really not true. Yes, you have to create the raw product of a good quality to get the whole process started, but there are many other matters that must fall into place in order to produce a fine wine. And most of those processes and additive products are fully in the winemaker’s control.

Or they like to share, “It’s been a challenging year.” At what point anytime does nature act perfectly over a nine month period? Just ask any mother. So, when does the temperature, the sun, the rain, the pests, the birds all work together to bring about a perfect season? Such a thing just does not happen. The challenge is that grapes have memory. They know every little thing that affected them during their time in the vineyard. Little things can add up to big problems.

Another accompanying statement is, “We may not see the outcome like we did in ’05.” Or insert some other terrific year. Many winemakers in California said this last year during the entire growing season. 2012 turned out to be a record grape crop harvest and the quality was superb. Last year in May you would have thought winegrowers were on their way to the Food Stamp office.

Certainly a healthy dose of humility is a good quality when you are involved with agriculture. But the quantity and quality of what was unfolding before their eyes last year was not to be denied. Though they tried.

A corollary to the above is, “We won’t be seeing a lot of fruit but what we have is of excellent quality.” Duh! We have not seen wine prices move up even though the 2010 and the 2011 vintages were difficult and somewhat small. I did not learn much in college (had a lot of fun, however) but did learn about supply and demand. A low supply and a heavy demand means prices rise. They have not risen in several years.

To go further with my college thought, as it applies to my situation, having a lot of fun equates to not learning much. It is one or the other on an opposing metric scale.

The last example I will cite of a duh-phrase, and then I will climb off my curmudgeon soapbox, is one that is applied to a lot of industries. But the saying is overused and we don’t need to ever hear it again. “You know how to make a small fortune in the wine business? Start with a large one.”

Honestly, there is no doubt that making wine is fraught with pitfalls and economic disaster. But there are a bunch of people who make wine and have become very, very rich from the activity.


A Thirsty Man Walks Into a Crowded Bar…

And the lines are four deep waiting to get a drink. Does he leave? Not if he is at Whiskey Blue in the W Hotel on Poydras Street.

He saunters over (yes, I imagine sauntering in a crowded bar is difficult, but work with me here) to the cooler and takes out a bottled cocktail. Not just any bottled cocktail, like those sappy sweet cocktails in the grocer’s cooler. No, these bottled cocktails are made by the same folks who are currently way too busy with other customers.

Whiskey Blue has established this program and it has proved a rousing success, as you can well imagine in a town that reveres movable cocktails and detests waiting for one. The fresh cocktails in a bottle, which are subject to change, are Mint Dew-Lip, Cucumber Mule, Basil Aviation, Rock the Cas Bar and The Tea Off. As you can see, the bottled offerings have the same sorts of snappy names assigned to new creations on every cocktail menu anywhere.

I guess the younger generation likes such monikers, or the bartenders have way too much time on their hands during those moments when the thirsty hordes are otherwise distracted.

The bottled pre-prepared cocktails are priced at a very reasonable $12, which is about what the drinks would cost if you could get anywhere close to the mixologists.

So, I’m thinking that the W Hotel has a nifty drive-through auto lobby. Wonder if anyone over there has considered the possibilities of bottled cocktails and… nah, it’s been done in this town.



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