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Accepting Wine/Spirit Advocacy?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hanzo, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    During Christmas dinner last night I was sipping on a Schlafly Pumpkin that I had left in the hosts fridge last time I was there for Thanksgiving. My family is Bud Light/Miller Lite drinkers but I still try to get them to try new stuff. Christmas Eve I got a few of them to drink a Genesse Cream Ale and now I was trying to get them to take a sip of Schlafly Pumpkin as I think it taste like pumpkin pie in a glass and I thought they would like it.

    So as I was offering my beer to several people my cousin comes over with some new Scotch he'd just picked up (apparently very expensive Scotch) and offered a sip. I turned him down because I am not a liquor drinker and have had Scotch before and I didn't like it. So basically I was being hypocritical. "Try what I think is good but I won't try what you think is good".

    So my point, and question for that matter is while you are advocates of beer, how well do you receive the advocacy of wine and spirit drinkers?

    *this isn't for those that like wine\spirits just as much as they like beer, I know you're out there ;-)*
  2. Lare453

    Lare453 Champion (975) Florida Feb 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    I'll try almost anything. I like to try as much new stuff as possible to see if there are other things out there. They say "variety is the spice of life" and I'm a disbeliever in that. I am not a dark spirits drinker at all, but I will always try my wife's scotch or whiskey or whatever she's drinking. She's got girl balls, and loves that stuff.
    Docrock and maximum12 like this.
  3. Dennoman

    Dennoman Advocate (525) Belgium Aug 20, 2011

    Good question here, and I think it's very topical for the whole beer advocacy mission. In the spirit of letting people try different beers, I'm equally open to try a fine wine or spirit, especially from someone with a degree of knowledge on it.

    Not to be offensive at all to the OP, but thinking about it, there's a degree of hypocrisy involved in letting people try good beer, but declining a first-hand masterclass in fine wine or spirits. I'll usually try any wine they offer me, as it's usually done in a food context.

    The thing is, I don't like to mix spirits with beer as it generally gives me the most dreadful feeling the next morning, even if I haven't been drunk. High variations in alcohol just don't sit well with me. I'll happily come over to someone's house for a whisky tasting a few days after they've had good craft beer at my place though. I guess it all depends on the mood.

    In my experience, the liquor's only brought out when the beer or wine has already been flowing profusely, so as per my own reasoning I don't get round to it often :p
    Docrock, cavedave and Giovannilucano like this.
  4. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    My family has always been very alcohol-centric (probably the eastern european heritage showing)... I might be a beer advocate, but I'm also a bourbon & scotch advocate on the side and know my wine as well. I might own all the neat glassware and quite a few more bottles of beer than anything else, but I can appreciate a nice bourbon on the rocks or a great red wine (I'm a cab guy myself) with the rest of 'em.

    I think across the board is the same message: support quality products. Support great vineyards & wineries... support great distilleries... support great breweries.
    SammyJaxxxx, Docrock, JxExM and 2 others like this.
  5. To me, beer advocacy is one little part the whole of alcoholic beverages. Each department will have its share of standard product or one that is handcrafted and meant to be enjoyed. I do enjoy wine,whiskey, bourbon, grappa, amaro, cognac, and of course beer! I approach each one with an open mind and in learning. To me I want to learn even until my last breath because there is much to know! :D

    As long as the said advocate approaches you in a manner of respect and humility, then that makes it all the more easier to go ahead and try new things...
  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    I know in this case I was a hypocrite, even said so in the original post, that was the premise of this thread. At the time I thought nothing of it, but now I got to thinking "why should they try what I am suggesting if I won't try what they are suggesting to me?".
  7. A great and worthy comment on this issue, Lutter! :D I was thinking of that same thought myself or something similar!
  8. I think there is a difference between advocating a better version of a product someone likes versus trying to get people to try things they don't like. Hanzo, your family already drinks beer and you are trying to get them to try new beers, but you have tried scotch in the past and not like it. It's not like you are sitting there with a glass of J&B on the rocks and turning down samples of Glenfiddich. It is nice for your cousin to offer, but you should not feel obligated to accept. Odds are he wasn't offended by you turning down the offer just like you wouldn't be offended if someone politely declined the beer you were offering. In the end advocacy is about letting people know there are other options out there, not forcefully converting people.
    Docrock, BobZ and Giovannilucano like this.
  9. Brunite

    Brunite Savant (430) Illinois Sep 21, 2009

    Willingness to try something different was the only way I came to realize that beer could be better than MGD!

    Likewise; that same willingness to try showed me that there was something better in the rum world than Bacardi and they might have names like Mount Gay XO or Pyrat XO Reserve. I also might have been stuck thinking tequila meant Montezuma brand and an always hangover. Thank goodness I met Don Julio and his Reposado!
  10. JuniperJesus

    JuniperJesus Savant (440) Illinois Feb 26, 2011

    "Beer is for women, wine for men and rye is for heroes"
    -Otto von Bismarck
    SammyJaxxxx and drewba like this.
  11. You need to work on your Scotch palate. :)
    BobZ and yemenmocha like this.
  12. Derranged

    Derranged Advocate (535) New York Mar 7, 2010

    Sometimes I'll feel like drinking liquor instead of beer. Wine I really only drink at family functions, restaurants or when I'm in Italy. That is, while I prefer "good" beer much of the time, I am not adverse to trying liquor or wine.
  13. terrapinfan88

    terrapinfan88 Savant (320) Virginia Nov 15, 2009

    I work in a store that sells both beer and wine (the state has spirits) but in order to make wine sales you need to know wine. The wine customers mostly could give a shit if I know beer. It took some warming up to but I actually really enjoy wine now. Spirits I'm not a huge fan of but I will normally try it, especially if its expensive. I have hardly any experience with spirits. I'm of the opinion if you drink "professionally" you should always be willing to experience new things. I also look at it from the perspective of if I'm gonna spend outlandish money on BA beers I'd better have and idea of what I'm getting into.

    Like yourself I always encourage people to try new beer. Not necessarily something I love, just something outside of what they may drink. Like you said trying to persuade them all the time and than not biting when the rolls are reversed makes me feel guilty. I wont ask for a highball normally just a sip. Not a huge spirit fan but there is always the possibility I haven't come across the right one yet.

    Its just like drinking 312 and saying yuck I hate all wheat beers. When in reality you just haven't had Wiehnstphaner, Hitachino white, Oberon, StB wit, or boulevard wheat yet. I'll admit I wrote IPAs off when I first got into beer, now I realize it was because I was only trying less floral more pine and resin forward examples. I now know I prefer fruit forward and floral IPAs or a balance of the two.

    Knowing hardly anything about spirits I can tell you I'm not fond of intense abrasive alcohol presence. Being a big fan of a lot of Tawny ports I can tell you: I am a huge fan of more present than usual (in non fortified wine) alcohol notes with nutty, woody, maple flavors. I imagine 40 year old scotch is much smoother and complex than say Gentleman's Jack. (pretty much the pinnacle of my spirit experience) While I may not shell out for the good stuff I'd certainly TRY it for free.

    Worst case scenario you get regrettably hammered on the good stuff, We've all been there before right???

  14. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    I like this thread alot, because I am first and foremost a whiskey advocate. My bar is centered around Single Malt's and Bourbon, only complemented by our 100+ bottles of craft beer.
    The thing that I really notice and find important is that when I go in short phases of switching between my libation of choice (and I do mix wine in there, both red and white), my palate is expanded and more accepting or possibly aware of different flavors...
    Your comment on Scotch is one that really irks me, but it's like someone turning down a world class Lager because they've had Bud Light and now they hate beer. There are vast flavor and character differences in scotch especially, and just because you've had J&B, or even Glennfiddich or Glenlivet, does not mean you don't like scotch. Try a Laphroaig 10 year, or a Lagavulin 16 year, then try a Old Pulteney 12, Glenkinchie 10, and then a Balblair 2000. Vast, vast flavor differences there.
    Good post OP, I like this conversation.
  15. taxman

    taxman Savant (285) Illinois Feb 22, 2012

    Saying you had Scotch before and didn't like it is like saying you had beer before and didn't like it. What is the beer was, say, Bud. Would you think that all beer taste like that? Not all Scotch tastes the same, either.

    Try something different, you might find something that you like. My cousin has over 50 different types of tequila. That's what I drink at his house. While it's not my drink of choice I can now appreciate a really good tequila. It's not the crap I slammed in college.

    But then again, don't try anything new. That way there will be more for the rest of us!
  16. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Savant (485) Missouri Sep 14, 2011

    Being a BA has opened me up to all culinary and alcohol appreciation. It doesn't mean I won't choose beer 19 times out of 20 but I can appreciate a good wine or bourbon, etc.
    JoeyBeerBelly likes this.
  17. BobZ

    BobZ Advocate (600) Massachusetts Jun 24, 2009

    Interesting post, my history is the opposite of the OP. I spent years drinking and loving Scotch, from Islay malts to Speyside malts to malts spanning all of the lowlands, highlands, and islands. My wife had to endure multiple distillery tours during our honeymoon in Scotland! She still loved the castles and all of the other sites! :)

    I grew up with bad American beers and bad imports, essentially fizzy bitter yellow water which sometimes had the added dimension of skunky flavor. I was just "getting into" scotch when Sam Adams burst on the scene but honestly I thought I knew all I "needed' to know about beer and I paid that arrival little attention.

    Almost 20 years later on a business trip to Belgium all that changed, my host said "you should try the beer" and I had Duvel. That is why I now have a love and appreciation for good beer.

    IMO being open-minded offers the opportunity to learn, I never turn down the chance to try a new food or beverage, which I probably should (in moderation) if I want to keep hiking! ;)
  18. BradtheGreat7

    BradtheGreat7 Savant (340) Ohio Jul 22, 2011

    I'm not big on wine at all. For me folks spend ridiculous money on "fine wine" at basically the same abv as good craft beer. And for me no wine compares to any of the top shelf brews. It just doesn't make sense to spend $30 on a bottle of wine when I can get 3 dreadnaughts lol. However I do take a pride in my knowledge of bourbon and even scotch, Tennessee, and Irish whiskies these days. While I only enjoy a glass of bourbon done neat or scotch on the rocks once every few weeks, I always have world class bourbon and scotch in my home bar. I live near Kentucky so good bourbon is easily found. I have Blanton's single barrel, pappy van winkle's family reserve 20 year, four roses single barrel, Willet pot still reserve(aka buttered popcorn) and always a bottle of buffalo trace. While these sit more than they are enjoyed I still pride myself in a glass from time to time. I also have a couple of the best scotch brands available. I know one is highland park and I'm not home so I'm not going to attempt to misspell the other lol. Craft beer is my passion and will always be #1 and I just dont enjoy wine or any other spirit other than Kentucky bourbon/scotch/American/Irish whiskies. Craft beer is my love but bourbon is damn good too. But there's just something about a beer search and the feeling you have when you find that certain brew or when you have a near perfect hull.
  19. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,245) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    I love spirits and like wine a lot. I'm not a selective advocate. I have a promiscuous palate.

    Like others said, your response was a bit hypocritical.

    P.S. the replies that center around comparing price per amount of alcohol are exactly the sort of things that give beer, even good beer, a bad reputation when comparing to wine & spirits. It's an ugly part of the beer reputation that is deserved. I've never seen or heard wine people comparing a Zin or a Petite Sirah based on price per amount of alcohol %. It's about taste. Not getting F'd up.
    SammyJaxxxx, cavedave and Hanzo like this.
  20. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,060) New York Mar 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I am of the "try the best you can find of everything, you never know" state of mind. I have never turned down a taste of a fine alcoholic beverage of any kind. My favorite spirit is Vodka, and I am a dry Chardonnay man when it comes to wine, but who knows maybe I find one I like better from a recommend?
  21. Bernerdawg

    Bernerdawg Aficionado (155) Georgia Jul 18, 2011

    While it's possible that a fine scotch could have opened your palate to the beauty and possibilities of the genre, I don't think you're a hypocrite for declining. You offered a beer whose flavor would be recognizable. Scotch isn't the most accessible of spirits.

    I don't know what the scotch was or what you consider to be an expensive bottle but my point is that if the receiving party isn't motivated or curious enough or simply dislikes what is offered then the sample will be wasted.
  22. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (655) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Beer Trader

    Funny, because my wife called me on this yesterday. She asked me to try some wassail that was being served at the Christmas gathering we were at. I refused at first, and she said "I'm willing to try all the beers you drink, you need to be willing to try this." Right away I knew she was right and I was being an ass, so I tried it. Didnt like it, but I tried.

    Like anything else, I have to be willing to try, or I'd still just be drinking Rolling Rock and Miller.
    thepartybird likes this.
  23. alexipa

    alexipa Savant (465) Colorado Oct 7, 2011

    I really don't like wine or spirits; however I'm in the boat of would try but probably would not like. I get that you have to try something to possibly like it, so I'd give anything a little sip at least. I've tried a lot of wine and spirits over the years but there's always more to try.
  24. AlexFields

    AlexFields Advocate (685) Tennessee Dec 13, 2009 Beer Trader

    My experience is that every category of beverage I've initially said I disliked and later gave an honest go, I have eventually come to like.

    This is true within beer--came to like hoppy beers, German wheat beer, etc against my initial biases--and also more broadly. I used to drink mixed drinks or bourbon and wanted nothing to do with scotch or tequila or brandy. Now I have multiple high end bottles of each of those and I love them all. When I've tried something repeatedly over time and give my palette the chance to make sense of it, I've always come to like it.
  25. Highbrow

    Highbrow Advocate (665) California Jan 7, 2011 Beer Trader

    what this guy said.

    pretty simple. live & let live. drink what you like, let others do the same, even if you think what they like is beneath your standards. for me, advocacy is sharing your insight & goods with those who at least have a minimal interest in the subject. some people sound like they take it way too far & way too serious.

    on the coin flip, slightly hypocritical, because we could ask Hanzo, how would he know if his cousin's really expensive scotch was not better than what he'd tried & didn't like - without actually sampling it? after all, a great deal of the beer advocacy i witness is: "You've been trying shitty beer, why not give some of these more boutique, wallet crushing ales a go?"
  26. Lare453

    Lare453 Champion (975) Florida Feb 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    This was quoted when beer was around 2% abv... I think it's changed a bit since then.
  27. Your logic of turning down scotch is similar of the logic of BMC drinkers turning beer down. It is fine if you feel that way, no one should be forced to drink but whisky is quite varied & has its own thing going on.
    Not much of a wine drinker – I do like very sweet white desert wine – I will try a wine if suggested, offered whatever. Have even chipped in on wines before, I see no issue. Same with hard liquor.
  28. mfnmbvp

    mfnmbvp Advocate (680) Illinois Nov 28, 2012

    Craft beer is naturally my first preference here, although I did recently buy a bottle of Japanese Plum Gekkeikan (plum wine) that I had been eyeing at the local beer store for over 2 years.

    Not a big fan of hard alcohol, but since you guys brought it up, the thought of trying a bottle of Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey is making me salivate at 10am. I'm also dying to try Dogfish Head Vodka, Jin, or Rum. HAS ANYONE TRIED ANY OF THESE?
  29. jhartley

    jhartley Poobah (1,250) Florida Aug 22, 2010 Beer Trader

    I don't think that there is anything wrong with turning down a drink you don't like. Comparing beer to wine to whiskey is not the same, imo. I don't mind a liquor drink once in a while, 7 & 7 or a Tanqueray & Tonic, etc. However I am not a huge fan of wine at all. I would still rather prefer a nice IPA or stout.
  30. CircusBoy

    CircusBoy Savant (330) Ohio Mar 10, 2008

    Depends on the occasion I guess. I've turned down wine plenty of times in the past 5 years or so ever since I discovered craft beer. Before that I drank wine all the time as well as spirits. Now, I'm the only one drinking beer instead of wine at Thanksgiving dinner or when I go out to a nice restaurant with my family. I've simply lost a taste for it and if I'm going to have a drink I'd prefer a beer. I will occasionally have a glass of whisky/vodka/whatever but 99.9% of the time I drink it's beer. I honestly don't remember the last time I had any wine.
  31. Docrock

    Docrock Advocate (615) Illinois Jan 21, 2012 Beer Trader

    A lot of great comments. I will echo most, variety is the spice of life. I will try most anything. Have been to scotch tastings, wine tastings, as well as numerous beer tastings. At the tasting I just held on Saturday, I knew one guy was goning to drop out pretty quick as we got into porters and stouts. Gave him a glass of water and let him enjoy the company. Then as the group started talking about doing a Bourbon tour, I offered to be the DD.
    Chinon01 likes this.
  32. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poobah (1,000) New Jersey Feb 23, 2012 Beer Trader

    That is the same as someone saying I have had beer before and didn't like it.
    What have you tried?
    What about it didn't you like?
    There are numerous variations and may be just be a question of finding what is right for your pallate.

    Saying that, I would be annoyed that they would try the Scotch but not your beer.
  33. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (735) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Beer Trader

    Im open to trying everything, food or drink.

    Your situation is very ironic.
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