In Vino Veritas But In Wall Street Verisimilitude

May 16, 2012

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy)...I got up this morning - which is always preferable to the alternative - and realized that this was going to be one of those days where most of what's in the news is a rehash of what's been in the news for some time.  I mean, you know, Greece, JP Morgan, Facebook . . . ho hum. As far as playing today's market, who knows?Should we be long SPY, XLF, QQQ, IWM, EEM - or just short the crap out of all of 'em?

Not finding much grist for today's "Street Sweeper" mill, I thought that I might digress. Okay, so, sure, I always digress. Fact is, I just did it again. Anyway - where was I?  Oh,yeah, I was digressing.

So - last night I opened a bottle ofNaia Ducado de Altanfrom Rueda, Spain.  It's a 100% Verdejo, a white wine grape.  Some of you may know that I was the third generation of my family in the wine business.  For those of you unfamiliar with that fascinating aspect of my life, let me inform you that before I became a lawyer, I was the third generation of my family in the wine business.  Okay, so now all of you know that I was the third generation of my family in the wine business and, likely, all of you could care less.

Anyway, back to my digression about last night's bottle of Spanish white wine.  It was a cheap bottle - no, let me correct that, my father always told me that we never sold anything cheap, only fantastic purchases of inexpensive wine. Consequently, the Ducado de Altan was an inexpensive white wine.  Perhaps, to best put the wine in perspective, it was the perfect choice for a Tuesday night meal: affordable, interesting, not great, but not vinegar.

While my wife listened to me grouse about Wall Street, world events, and the New York Mets during dinner, I stopped talking for a few seconds (a rare event for me and most lawyers) to sip the verdejo. Good acid. Nice bite. Astringent with some interesting citrus tones and a pervasive herbaceous aroma.  See, I know all that lingo. Ya wanna buy a case? I can work with ya on that.

In any event, I reached for the bottle to see what the back label said. This is what I read:

Made to please everyone, this wine is fresh and intense, with white fruit and balsamic notes.  Immediately appealing is the ideal wine to drink at any moment, with no complexes.  With marked character of its origin Castilla, and the uniqueness of the varietal Verdejo.

I laughed at the intriguing syntax and grammar of the write-up.  Sometimes things get lost or go awry in translation. Here we simply left the known universe and wound up with some fascinating assertions.

This was a wine that was made to "please everyone." No small challenge.  On top of that, the wine was "immediately appealing."  Not eventually appealing. Not somewhat appealing. But immediately appealing. Moreover, in addition to this wine's ability to immediately please everyone, it was proudly proclaimed as the "ideal wine to drink at any moment." Truly, how does one top that and all for under $10 a bottle?

After reading such enological braggadocio, I would normally roll my eyes in response to the hyperbole. Last night, however, the purple prose didn't upset me. I wasn't quite sure why until I re-read the rear label and saw the promise that the wine came with "no complexes." Apparently, the vintner's alchemy imbued the Ducado de Altan with the unique ability to not foster an inferiority complex and to permit me to immediately enjoy my life.

This morning, while perusing the news, I fondly thought back to last night and wondered. If only Wall Street could develop a financial product that was made to please everyone, was immediately appealing to all investors, and was the ideal investment at any moment. Oh, and if we could toss in that "no complexes" stuff when it came to understanding the financial reports so that we could truly comprehend what they were selling us and what we were buying, wouldn't that too be nice?

Alas, In Vino Veritas  but In Wall Street Verisimilitude.