what i hate (about wine) from a to z

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

With apologies to Roz Chast, whose new book is pictured above and who has given me more good chuckles than any other cartoonist past or present, I offer you my A to Z list of what I hate about wine. Please notice the tongue in cheek; I only wish I could do the drawings to go with my list. Roz, are you out there?

A – acid adjustments
B – blaming “the media” for all ills
C – “critter” wines
D – dealcoholized wines
E – experts
F – food and wine matching rules
G – geeks guzzling the good stuff
H – hybrid grapes
I – incomplete wine review submission forms
J – judging panels
K – kitchen sink blends from leftover barrels
L – “lifestyle” wines
M – massively heavy wine bottles
N – “naked” wines
O – oak alternatives
P – plastic corks
Q – quick blind tastings
R – ratings for vintages
S – sweet pink wines
T – tiny type on back labels
U – ugly drawings on front labels
V – volatile acidity you can smell
W – wax capsules (real or fake)
X – xenophobic, anti-immigrant rhetoric
Y – yawn-inducing press releases
Z – zinfandels over 16% alcohol

Got a list of your own? Give it a shot. Or make it easy on yourself – just pick the vowels. Chime in!


ted judd said...

but need help with one term, what is a "naked" wine?

PaulG said...

Ted - A number of wineries offer wines labeled "Naked" which generally refers to un-oaked white wines such as chardonnay.

ted judd said...

hmmm, I prefer a white burgundy to Kendall Jackson because it is more like the grape and less manipulated. is it the style of wine making or term to which you object?

PaulG said...

Ted, this post is supposed to be slightly humorous, ok? I have written dozens of columns on unoaked wines, and I am generally very positive. I find the term naked to be a little silly, that's all.

Dave Nershi, CSW said...

Humorous indeed, but show some love for the hybrids! I'd rather have a nice glass of Marechal Foch or Chambourcin than an uninspired Pinot Noir.

Dave Nershi - Toledo Wines and Vines

W. Blake Gray said...

Geeks guzzling the good stuff? Wine geeks, you mean? Who deserves it more?

Jnu Bob said...

Have we all lost our sense of humor?

Anonymous said...

A WA winemakers list:

A-American Oak on Merlot
B- blogger who want free wine
C- Cleaning the press
D- De-acidifying a wine must
E- eccentric wine critics
F- Flaky distributors who don't pay
G- gloppy white wine pulp
H- hundred point over oaked cabernet
I- I think you should have done this to your wine...
J- "Just saying", I hate that phrase
K- High potassium wine must
L- Lemberger haters
M- Mourvèdre, as in getting it ripe
N- Nitrogen measurements
O- Oxygen
P- Phenolphthalein being classified a hazardous material
Q- Q10 rule.
R- rising up at 3 pm to drive over to E. Wa and back
S- Second guessing myself
T- Titrations
U- under ripe grapes
W- white wine pressing
X- Xtream Acids
Y- YAN adjustments
Z- Zinfandel roses

PaulG said...


Sean P. Sullivan said...

Paul, great post and some *serious* competition from the WA winemakers list!

Anonymous said...

A – art exhibitions in tasting rooms; allocated when there’s plenty to drive demand
B – back labels with silly words. See “d, h, l, s and w”
C - customers asking which wine scored 96, comparative tastings against DRC, Mouton etc
D – dollap, displays
E – expecting a discount because your brother’s sister in law works 2 hours as harvest help
F – fruit forward
G – grower Champagne with strawberries, Grand Cru on CA Pinot labels
H – handcrafted, hints, hot women selling wine to make up for bad quality
I - international style
J – just interested in the scores, Justin Bieber
L – leaving the tasting at 5:00 pm when it ends at 7:30 pm because “you ran out of wine”
M – malo-lactic on whites, mystery wines
N- natural wine that takes like VA, brett, and oxidation
O- over extracted, over oaked, over priced, over confident, orange wine
P – People who rinse every tasting with water before going to the next
Q – Quercus alba on Cabernet
R- restaurants in the Pacific NW that ignore Pacific NW wine, rotofermenters
S – smooth, stupid packaging
T – tasting rooms that feel like a funeral home, tannin additions
U – under-appreciated wine areas – Austria, Greece, Southern Italy
V – volatile winemakers with huge egos
W – wineries that take full page ads, winter freeze in WA, WA wines with 15% alcohol, well rounded, when will this wine be at its peak? (If I could tell you that, I would have made $100 million as a hedge fund manager and wouldn’t be standing in the tasting room)
X – Xinomavro plantings in Lodi
Y – young wineries that charge $150 for their first wine
Z – zoological labels

PaulG said...

Anon: I am staring at that naked 'K' – very clever. And I give you bonus points for Xinomavro. Nice job!

PaulG said...

Blake - my point is not that geeks don't deserve good wine; they do. My point is that wine geeks should understand that SHARING that bottle is an important part of the experience. Greed has no place at a wine tasting.

Christine Collier said...

F- frost!

Larry Olson said...

Of all the letters in your A to Z, I laughed at 'F'. Matching rules are for suckers. Well played, Paul.

Art said...

K for "high potassium" is pretty clever too!

How exactly does one detect "volatile acidity"?

KeithJ said...

Great stuff, Paul - and though tongue in cheek, I do love the truth that lurks within.

For me today, I'll just toss out an "N" - Ninety-somethin' or nuthin'.

1winedude said...

Love this list, except that mine would consist of 26 P's and every entry would be "P – plastic corks" :)

PaulG said...

Dude, 26 pees is what I felt like taking after I compiled it! (Thanks for checking in).

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