Why is it that I find bad wine undrinkable, yet I can tolerate bad beer? I was pondering this the other steamy day by the pool. Now I have to be clear: for a bad beer to be palatable it has to be (a) drunk ice-cold outside on a hot day or (b) free. Bonus points if it is both. Yet I find lousy wine to be undrinkable under any circumstances. Why is this? My working theory is that there is a greater spread between bad and excellent in wine than in beer. What I mean by this is that the top end of beer is really good but the top end of wine is stunning to sublime. I’ve never had that ‘a-ha’ epiphany moment with beer that I’ve had many times with wine. So maybe when you are drinking bad wine consciously or unconsciously you realize all the wasted potential. I guess beer doesn’t have as much potential to waste? It’s like your stupid friend: you just don’t expect as much out of him so he rarely disappoints you.