For the last couple of years I have published a list of what I think are the most stupid wine descriptions published by some of the 100 point wine writers (to see last year’s winners click here). These wine descriptions are written by 100 point wine writers describing actual wines. But, take a look and see if you the think the description of the wine matches the actual wine or, for that matter, any wine that you have ever tasted.
For me, the answer is a resounding NO! Therefore, I believe that these descriptions are prima facie evidence that many wine descriptions do not matter when using a 100 point system. After all, who would buy or drink any wine based on these descriptions? That only leaves the points as the basis for buying. And, sadly, for many people, wine is all about points. But, for the rest of us, we can get some laughs out of some of the descriptions!
Below are the 3 Stupid Wine Description Winners from 2017. All were sent to me by one person who was as mystified as I as to how any wine could possibly taste like the way these wines were described. Two different 100 point wine writers were responsible for these descriptions. Number 1 and number 3 came from the same person describing the same type of wine produced by the same producer from different vineyards in different years. And, number 2 came from a publication using the 100 point system to rate wines. But, the description is so far removed from what the actual wine would taste like that it can only be called a joke! So, go figure! Stupid is as stupid does!!
1. …this texturally silken, supremely elegant effort transparently and kaleidoscopically combines moss, wet stone, gentian, buddleia, coriander, pepper, piquant yet rich nut oils and a saline clam broth savor that milks the salivary glands. But besides this impressive array of non-fruity components, white peach and lemon deliver abundant primary juiciness and animating tang, rendering the finish as invigorating and refreshing as it is vibrant, mouthwatering and dynamically complex….
Wow! Are you ready for gentian and buddleia? And how about getting your salivary glands milked? OUCH! This is described as “non-fruity” but somehow after the milking you get some peach and lemon. Thanks, but no thanks.
And should you care, this is supposed to be a big numbers Austrian Riesling!
2. ..Tightly focused, with a beam of linzer torte, bitter cherry, plum sauce and fig fruit laced with licorice snap, singed iron and roasted bay leaf. The long finish has lots of roasted fig, tar and spice notes for extra bass, but the acidity is there as well, deeply embedded….
Geez! Linzer torte and some other stuff wrapped up with singed iron? That hurts. And just for additional bad taste how about tar and roasted bay leaf intermingled with licorice snap and some other stuff? YUK! And not to be nitpicky, but is bass a musical note or a fish?
At number 2 on the hit parade, this is supposed to a big numbers Rhone Ermitage.
3.…A nose mingling gentian, elderflower, seaweed, mussels, salt spray and chicken stock… Sage, fennel, peach kernel, lemon, alkali and wet stone all chime in on the silken, buoyant…mouthwateringly saline finish of polished and prodigious length…
Checking in at number 3, from the same wine writer as number 1, here we go with the gentian again. This time you don’t get your salivary glands milked, but you do get seaweed, mussels, peach kernel, alkali, and wet stone. YUM YUM! How enticing to lead you to the polished, mouthwatering saline finish of prodigious length? This has ZERO appeal! A short finish would be the only saving grace for a wine like this should a wine like this even exist.
And, yes we again have a big numbers Austrian Riesling from the same producer as number one. For me, these descriptions are enough to make me never want to drink an Austrian Riesling. Fortunately, the descriptions have nothing to do with what Austrian Riesling tastes like and I like Austrian Rieslings!
So there you have it. The top three stupid big numbers wine descriptions of 2017. But never fear. 2018 is here. There will again be an abundance of the big numbers stupid wine descriptions. So be sure to send in your favorites!
In Vino Veritas,
This article originally appeared in The Underground Wineletter on March 17, 2018.