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2016 STUPID WINE DESCRIPTION AWARD WINNERS AND MORE!

John Tilson • 2/3/17        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

award winners

Early last year I issued a challenge for readers to send in their favorite stupid wine descriptions (to read that article with links to lots of other stupid wine descriptions click here).

winners

The descriptions trickled in, but at the end there was one clear winner who sent in multiple entries. These include all the descriptions below including a special zinger at the end.

Champagne
A haunting nose of ocean spray with clam and oyster liquor anticipates the mouthwateringly saline, mysteriously meaty and seaweed-tinged aspects of a polished palate that’s also informed by luscious, pit-tinged white peach, fresh lemon and almond. (And were it not for that last trio, here would surely be one of those wondrous instances where you find yourself asking how a wine’s flavors can possibly come from grapes!) Ultra-juicy and palate- as well as saliva gland-massaging, the finish here left me licking my lips in anticipation of the next sip. What’s more, this cuvee is among the most versatile at table of any in Champagne.

OMG! This is Champagne? With clam and oyster liquor, meaty, seaweed, pit tinged white peach, fresh lemon and almond? This is a “wondrous instance”?  Are you kidding me? I absolutely love Champagne. And, over the years, I have enjoyed more than I could possibly remember.  However, I would not want this stuff to get near me much less massage my saliva glands!

Vacqueyras
The…displays a very dark garnet red core with a hint of orange and light garnet reflections on the rim. The intensely perfumed and concentrated nose offers a fragrance of ripe, slightly dried black cherry, black raspberry and Chambord over a bouquet of dried violets, rose petals and garrigue. It is reminiscent of strolling through a field of fresh mountain herbs, while a hint of white pepper, olive, and smoked meat linger in the distant background. Near full-bodied, this class expression of Vacqueyras is beautifully structured and mineral driven, thanks to its unique stony soils… Flavors of cassis, cherry, raspberry and bright pomegranate are intertwined with beautiful crushed rock minerality, black tea, a touch of leather, white pepper, olive and meat that is lifted by refreshing acidity and lingers on the palate for a long, enchanting finish. This wine is beautiful now but also has an incredible life ahead of it. We anticipate this bottle peaking in 3-5 years, although it could easily last a decade or more if kept well. To enjoy now, decant for 30 minutes and serve at cellar temperature. Burgundy stems work well, but this beauty shows its very best out of Bordeaux stems.

I’m sure there are many wine drinkers who may have never heard of Vacqueyras. It is, in fact, a red wine from the Southern Rhone Valley that is similar to Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas. Would you know that from the description below?
This Vacqueyras supposedly is “like strolling through a field of fresh mountain herbs, while a hint of white pepper, olive, and smoked meat linger in the distant background.”  Say what? And by the way, don’t forget the Bordeaux stems. Otherwise, you might miss your stroll through the field of fresh mountain herbs!

Albarino
On the nose: The aromatics of this wine is like nothing else in the world of white wines. It is intense and pungent with crushed Japanese gooseberries, also know as physalls, then pear sparkler, apple cider, pomelo fruit segments, water chesnuts, Key lime pie made with kaffir limes, tangerine rind and oodles of fresh minerality…
On the palate: This explosively delicious white wine coats the palate with a plethora on interesting white fruit characteristics, including, but not limited to, citrus rind, lemon drops, Granny Smith apples, white peach skins, apricot jam, honeysuckle and zesty minerals, coming through because the wine has no oak. The balance and verve of this wine clearly defies its classification, and the finish is absolutely lovely and sharp as a tack.

How about the Physalls?  Not to mention all the other stuff and a key lime pie made with kaffir limes. If it were a pie made with kaffir limes it would not be key lime pie, it would be a kaffir lime pie. But, what the hey? Why confuse things with facts? And how about all the things you can taste which are not at all limited to candy, fruit skins, flowers and almost anything else you could possibly come up with.  This is Albarino? I love Albarino, but this has nothing to do with any Albarino I have experienced! In fact, it has nothing to do with anything as far as I am concerned. It is just gibberish!

Santa Barbara Cabernet Sauvignon
The nose offers restrained notes of earth and cookie dough, blueberry cream and raspberry jam. On the palate, tannins emerge as gritty and robust, yet the liquid core is graceful.  It’s an effortless wash of fudge with black currant that finishes with a graphite dryness, sweetened by cinnamon and basil.

In recent years Santa Barbara has been making some very good Cabernet Sauvignons. But, this one would not be on my list. How would you like some dirt in your cookie dough? And, how about fudge and graphite with the cinnamon and basil thrown in for good measure?  Yikes. These are some really bad combinations.

And, take a look at this note!

The aromas of ice melting off pristine white-capped mountains come through first – crisp, clean and clear. The vanilla bean flavor that begins with the first sip carries a top note of black pepper. From there, the liquid spreads in glossy waves across the mouth.

Is this wine? Doesn’t sound like wine. But neither do any of the other stupid supposed wine descriptions. However, in this instance,  are the “aromas of ice melting off pristine white capped mountains and the liquid spreading in glossy waves across the mouth” dead giveaways? Take a guess. But, what does it matter? This is supposed to be what vodka tastes like! So how about it all you vodka drinkers?

There you have it. These are the winners in the stupid wine descriptions derby with an additional zinger thrown in. So it would appear that stupid descriptions are expanding beyond wine. What next? I have no idea. So if you come across anything new send it along. Here at the Underground I am always looking for new ammunition! And, if I get enough ammo we will have more awards next year!

In Vino Veritas,

In Vino Veritas,Sig

John Tilson

Post a Comment

2 comments for “2016 STUPID WINE DESCRIPTION AWARD WINNERS AND MORE!”

  1. Just found your site here for the first time & loving it, but — this is a joke, right? I detest pretentious, over-blown wine reviews, but ….. well this crapola just CAN’T be real, eh? Surely this is a satire.

    Posted by Cathryn Ravenscliffe | August 21, 2017, 9:49 am
  2. Thanks Cathryn. I am glad that you found The Underground and are enjoying it. Please pass it along.
    Sadly, the descriptions described in the article are real. The name of the author is purposely not disclosed, but the descriptions are real. Readers send in descriptions that they see and I also keep track of stupid wine descriptions that come my way. In the case of the latter, this most often occurs when people selling wine include the wine description along with the points. It is all part of the exaggeration and hype that has become part of the fabric of a lot of “wine writing” today.
    If you have not seen it, please read my article “Wine Writing – What Is It?” on the website. This article goes into detail about the subject we are talking about and gives links to articles that have many examples of stupid wine descriptions. And, yes, they are real!
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | August 22, 2017, 7:58 am

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