The science of “Moneybottle”



Fans of baseball or statistics (there’s a difference?) were quite taken with “Moneyball,” the book by Michael Lewis that pulled the veil from the Oakland Athletics’ use of statistical analysis to identify true talent.

The book describes how Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane dismissed the traditional indicators of a player’s potential — batting average, RBIs — for more arcane stats. How often a batter reaches a base and batting productivity, Billy discovered, are better predictors of offensive success than speed or bases stolen.

The science of “Moneybottle” (a new science … we just invented it) also flies in the face of conventional wisdom and the beliefs of most wine experts, vintners and connoisseurs. The central premise is that the collective wisdom of oenophiles, growers, wine writers and fancy-pants collectors is subjective and often unreliable. Nose, bouquet, legs, layers and finish are relics from an age when wine was regarded as an indulgence for sophisticates while the rest of us drank beer.

Here then, are the Moneybottle bell-ringers. Is it dry? (Ding.) Does it taste OK? (Ding.) Is the third glass as enjoyable as the first? (Ding.) Can you pronounce the name or is it something impossible to say, like Gewurztraminer? (Ding.) Does it have a convenient screw cap instead of a cork? (Ding-ding-ding-ding.) Does it cost less than $5? (Ring-a-ding-ding-ding-DONG!)

Introducing Giacondi Pinot Grigio from Sicily (Friends & Family, $4.69). As a Pinot Grigio it is something of a dud, lacking the deeper color and accents of orange peel and pear skins for which that vintage is generally known. But as a white table wine that plays well with others at the dinner table, it is most companionable. Furthermore, it gives you something you rarely get when you set down a bottle and hand the clerk a $5 bill.

Change.