What, you may ask, is the M.O.G. Squad? Hmmm. I could tell you or you could try to figure it out on your own. A quick internet search for ‘mog’ turns up a variety of choices:
- MOG.com- a once popular subscription music service
- The English Dictionary says, ‘mog, v.t.To move away, to go off’
- The Urban Dictionary has nine different definitions that include such things as ‘an extremely ugly person’, ‘a sound you make when you don’t want to go to work’. ‘a child who takes on the mannerisms of a fully grown woman’, ‘half man, half dog’, ‘someone who is completely self-absorbed’ or ‘a character in Final Fantasy 6’.
None of these are on the mark, though. How about a hint? By now, I have worked the sorting table at Ruby Hill and Rubino winery twice and am slated for a third shift later this week. Every time I have gone, I have met some interesting folks, learned something new about grapes and had a good time. Last time I was there, they gave us a t-shirt that labels all of us volunteers as the M.O.G. Squad.
Change that internet search to read ‘mog winemaking’ and the answer is revealed. It is an abbreviation used in wine making that stands for “Material Other than Grapes”….all the debris that gets unintentionally harvested with the wine grapes. All the stuff that we volunteers see passing by on the sorting table that doesn’t bring anything good to the wine party – leaves, rocks, stems and, as mentioned in an earlier post, the occasional grasshopper, lizard or spider.
Did you figure it out without the hint? If it hadn’t said ‘Material Other than Grapes’ on the back of my t-shirt, I am not sure I would have gotten it, but now we know. Yet another bit of wine making jargon that you just don’t come across every day. Maybe one of these days, I’ll see you on the M.O.G. Squad too.