This Is Why People Hate Napa Valley

The Napa Valley Wine Wave enters Guinness Book for sheer stupidity

The Napa Valley Wine Wave has been months in the making. And each month that has gone into the planning of this pointless exercise in hollow vanity is that much more infuriating to those of us left utterly confused by the entire endeavor. Not much is clear except what will happen at Krug Winery on Sunday, October 7, and that a Guinness World Record will be set for “the longest relay wine toast.”

The Wine Wave is a möbius strip of pointlessness. A stupidity fractal. A reflecting pool of narcissism. It is sort of like the Napa Valley is masturbating itself with a cork.

Now a whole lot of people seem to really like the Wine Wave. Well, it’s easy in many ways. It’s not a difficult concept. A lot of people — 500 to be exact — line up in a row with glasses of wine and then one after another, in unison, they clink glasses. Full stop.

It’s easy to support, for one, in that it doesn’t take any real effort, and maybe these people feel like they are a part of something even though they are really a part of nothing. Somehow it’s cloaked in USAUSA! patriotism; the current world record holder is Shenzhen, a port town in Guangzhou, China. And how USAUSA! could we USAUSA! let that happen? We need to beat those Chinese at something, even if that something is vapidity.

The whole idea seems not unlike something the cast of Jackass might try to pull off (with the difference that they would probably be firing bottle rockets out of their asses while they toasted). It would be one thing if this were an event being organized for small children to take part in, but alas, the presence of alcohol means it is aimed at those with supposedly fully developed cerebral cortexes, as hard as that is to believe. Through, to be fair, many of those waddling through Napa Valley these days do seem to have the comportment of incredibly large toddlers.

Oh, but let’s not overlook the wolf in in self congratulatory clothing. They are doing for it the kids. As the Wine Wave organizers’ state vaguely on their website they are doing it to “Raise Money for Scholarships!” What scholarships? Who the hell knows? Who the hell cares? Certainly not anyone (or any of the many local businesses) giving their money to participate.

The website says only, “We are laser-focused on donating all proceeds to scholarships for young people who have chosen to go into the core businesses that make Napa Valley so unique: agriculture, enology, viticulture, and hospitality.” So yeah. Scholarships are good, right? USAUSA! But when will these scholarships materialize? Where will they be? Davis? The CIA? How will they be administrated? Clink!

What truly makes the Wine Wave odious and not a simple Jackass prank is the amount of preparation, time, money and effort that has gone into it. The Wave has been hyped and promoted for months. From banners strewn across town in St. Helena to websites and videos (an entire YouTube channel). And its garnered its fair share of bemused press. Much of which seems to be saying, “Look at how the idiots in Napa spend their time.”