My newest reader, Lew F, forwarded this from an e-mail he received from a winery (no doubt about that) advertising their wine. His comment about adjective use got my attention:
“When you drink wine can you taste all these favors: Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape that takes its own sweet time, slowly lingering to ripen on the vine. We are rewarded by its reluctance. Overwhelming cherry and vivid plums create a welcome first impression, while touches of green tea leaves and leather nestle themselves among the spicy, saucy fruit. Fourteen months in American barrels have produced touches of melted caramel and white pepper. With well-integrated tannins and a rich and round finish, this wine will be a favorite for years to come.”
Okay, not to insult the real sommeliers out there that do say and write this kind of thing…but when did it become so over-the-top?
Did we run out of descriptors or imagination? Are we just trying to impress a bored public? Or, is it testimony to how much more could actually be going on in our wine glasses?
I’m going with the former. I’ve noticed – try hard not to – that real wine bloggers write about and rate wines. I do that a couple of times a month at best. I think it’s borrrrrrrrrrring. That and I would never deem to tell you what to find in your own friggin glass. It’s YOUR glass.
But, I do get a gas out of the struggle they go through to attain some poetic license, and not plagiarism.
I challenge wine drinkers to think outside of the wine box. Instead of sounding pretentious (as done so sweetly above) I believe we should go full-throttle ridiculous.
I’ve done that.
In tasting a South African wine with, unbeknownst to me, a South African….I commented that the wine had a strong “family dog after a bath and pedicure” aroma. She let me know I offended her with my offensive remark. But the woman leading the tasting agreed with my analysis and educated my friend. We moved onto the next wine. Thank Bacchus.
I’m not saying, you see, to make up what you smell, but to just have fun with your descriptors. What calls up from your memory may not be “saucy fruit” but more like “mom in her prime”.
Are you getting this now? Taking notes? Fine. Just remember who uncoined these phrases first. And go ahead, comment on what you’ve thought about a wine that you didn’t dare say…