Sunday, December 02, 2007

Word Words Words but what do they mean

I love the English language, which might be surprising seeing as how I occasionally take liberties with grammar, don't very often check for spelling errors and let quite a few blatant typo's pass. Nevertheless I still feel offended at some of the garbage the pours out of the minds of so many of our food and wine writers - most particularly those who extol the virtues of wines.
Most of them use terminology more appropriate to describing the women they know or would like to! They may be described wines, or grapes, as Feminine or masculine, as aristocratic or bourgeoisie, as trendy or mundane, as bold or subdued sprightly, fresh or hard to resist.

Here is a small sample of pretty meaningless flights of fancy and there are plenty more

"A brooding wine"
"Fortunately Chardonnay has lost its excess love handles..."
"It is often said (something I very much doubt) that in this blend, Semillion gives body and soul, while Sauvignon Blanc is more of a show pony" and "Don't forget that steely backbone of racy Marlborough acidity that delvers a nice touch of zesty attitude." Excuse me while I puke.
"Think of ....... a one armed arm wrestler that has the power to beat all before it"
"Building on a bed of white flowers (are these roses, daisies, hyacinths, gardenias rhododendrons or doesn't it really matter?), grapefruit, struck rock (a flavour I have not heard of before) and gun smoke............." Does it matter what sort of gun? Possibly this makes more sense to Viet Nam veterans than to a city boy like me.

In vino veritas - these guys should drink more, much more!!


neil said...

Or maybe they should drink less...much less.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post Elliot.
Perhaps you are not part of the 'club'. I agree that the flavour wheel has much to answer for. Like the Bible its open to wild interpretation & spawned many different houses' of worship. At its worst, its jargon, plain & simple, designed to keep the likes of you, me & a good few others out of its church.
Spittoon comes close to giving wine writing the serve it deserves.

Elliot and Sandra said...

The remark "I don't know anythig about wine but I know what I like" doesn't apply to me - I don't even know what I like but I have been trying to find out for a long time. Actually, gobbler, I think the mystery and romance of unintellible but some how enticing descriptions are really attempts to suck us in to buy the stuff not particularly concerned as to if we care to join it or not