The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday December 6th

To wrap it all up: red or white?

	<p>Katherine Proctor</p>
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Katherine Proctor

It’s my last wine column of the semester. I’ve spent the fall doing a lot of journalistically sanctioned drinking, so I couldn’t possibly complain.

In my amateurish, stabbing attempts at wine writing, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve read the work of professional wine writers, I’ve researched a host of wineries, I can now tell the difference between a Zinfandel and a Primitivo and I’m fairly confident that I can explain what tannins are.

It’s my last wine column of the semester. I’ve spent the fall doing a lot of journalistically sanctioned drinking, so I couldn’t possibly complain.

I’m glad to have this sketchy storehouse of knowledge, but it’s barely a beginning. And now I stand both awed and confused by the people who’ve devoted the better part of their lives to sipping and evaluating the endless sorts of juices produced by the endless types of grapes, climates, barrels and methods.

The arena of wine literature is daunting, and I can’t even pretend that this series of columns has made anything close to a meaningful contribution.

But I do think that, over the course of the past semester, I’ve become semiqualified to tackle a question that most self-respecting wine writers would consider base: red or white?

To even flirt with reducing wine to these hopelessly general, color-based categories is to commit sacrilege in the temple of wine connoisseurship, but whatever, I’m going to go ahead and shirk dignity and do it.

I’m not completely dense, though — of course it would be silly and unproductive to attempt to make an across-the-board judgment on the matter of which of the two varieties is “better.”

Instead, I will attempt to evaluate these two broad categories in terms of their respective non-gustatory advantages.

White wine won’t show up as blatantly on your clothes when you spill it, but red wine is better for drunken “creative” Jackson Pollock-inspired art projects.

White wine will keep in the fridge longer than red will keep on the counter, but red wine doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge or an ice bucket during dinner parties.

Both red and white wines promote heart health and contain antioxidants that may prevent cancer.

However, white wines’ acidity can rot your teeth. However, red wine can stain your teeth.

White wine is a little more “Sex and the City,” but red wine can be drunk importantly out of tankards a la “Game of Thrones.”

There are a host of more aphoristic comparisons I could make on this topic, but I won’t inflict the rest of them on you. Instead I will pause and allow you to reflect on the numerous non-snobby angles from which one may approach what’s generally conceived to be the snobbiest beverage.

I hope that the upcoming Thanksgiving break, the last day of classes and finals are bacchanalian events for all of you, and I hope my semester’s faux wisdom has given something close to glimmers of guidance. Peace, blessings and tannins.

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