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Scandal’s Olivia Pope Drinks Wine Wrong, New York Times Wine Critic Says

Olivia Pope
New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov says Scandal's Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington) imbibes incorrectly  

Can't wine 'em all. New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov has a bone to pick with Scandal's Olivia Pope. According to his Oct. 28 column about the boozing habits of TV's leading ladies, Kerry Washington's tough-as-nails D.C. fixer has been drinking her beloved red wine all wrong.

Pope, whose devotion to fine wines is as ever-present on the ABC show as her tortured passion for President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), often purports to be something of a connoisseur about her favorite beverage. She frequently spouts off the names of (fictional) vineyards and supposedly expensive varieties, and more often than not ends her day with a large goblet of the stuff.

The problem, Asimov writes, is that she "treats even the finest wine as if it were a can of beer" — the drink of choice, it's worth noting, of boyfriend Jake Ballard (Scott Foley).

"She habitually grabs goblets by the bulb rather than the stem, as a wine lover would," Asimov observes. "She never swirls and sniffs, the ritual that non-wine drinkers alternately find amusing, affected, or annoying. She guzzles rather than sips."

He goes on to note that while other characters — The Good Wife's Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), for example — are guilty of the same mistakes, Pope should know better. "It can't be mere carelessness that blinds writers to her lack of technique," he writes. "There are wine lovers even in Hollywood who would note such behavioral inconsistencies. It must be a matter of choice by the writers."

He further concludes that Pope might seem "off-putting" if she did drink wine like the connoisseur she pretends to be. "Gladiators, as Olivia and her associates style themselves, don't swirl," he muses. "They gulp."

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