Remember when those two creepy twins in your neighborhood would skip rope and chant “One, two, the oak monster’s coming for you, three, four, better lock your cellar door…?” No? Well, listen up anyway. Cue ominous voice…
Winemakers of days gone by knew something we have forgotten. Something we should never forget. To not play with oak. To respect it. Even fear it. For there lurks a monster as old as wine itself.
So why did we forget? Maybe recent years have been kind to us, the wave upon wave of terroirists and millennials storming the blasphemed halls of the Overoaked One. Now, all but the Bordelais – and those wacky country clubbing Cali cult cab cults – have stopped kneeling at the its altar. Even the mind of Dr. Vino-stein has marveled at the possible death of the oaken beast at the hands of a poison economy. The oak monster is dead. Parkerized and buried deep within the recesses of an ancient Maryland lair.
But it’s name has been uttered again. An innocent enough article in defense of oak by one wine dude, – yes, that wine dude – who with cojones only The Dude can muster, daring it so close to all hallow’s eve. But it would have dire consequences as the beast fed on it, the ensuing chatter in the Twitter void unknowingly opening a portal into its dark dimension of vanilla nightmares and caramel screams.
And on this all halloween night, it’s blood spilling on house party rugs across the land, its splinters impaling your palates, fruit bomb-soaked two-by-fours slithering up million dollar noses, it is unleashed.
Is that the barrique of fear I smell on you? Where can you turn? Who will help you? The Vayniac legions and their fearless leader Garyvee – who legend has it dared dance with the monster – have long since disbanded. The Rhone Rangers, neutral to your battle, watch on like elders of yore. You are your only hope. But no holy crosses or garlic here. Just a balance of acid in one hand and a fistful of vegetal notes in the other, and get ready to rumble. And like my ma always said “In for a palate fight, you gotta aerate right”, because when the oak monster comes a-knocking, it’s gonna get awful toasty in here.
Don’t say you haven’t been warned!