As I think practically
everyone in the Southern Hemisphere is aware, most of the time I love wine.
not always, and like any lasting-relationship, there are always those little
irritating niggles which can sometimes explode into a full-blown row.
10 triggers to make me scream to the highest heavens and reach for a large
tumbler-full of brandy instead.
1. I hate... full spittoons at a tasting. Other peoples’ spit. Splashback. Gross. Enough
2. I hate... wine waiters who bring the bottle to
my husband to taste even though I ordered it. See your tip? Going dooooooooown.
3. I hate... that wine makes me fat. Life’s a bitch, it really is. When do you
really need a glass of wine? When you’re depressed. What do I get depressed
about? The fact that my clothes shrink a little smaller every single year. It’s
a vicious, vicious circle. Pass the bottle.
4. I hate... plastic corks. I could pretend to be all eco-conscious and say
that my objections to them is that they don’t bio-degrade, but that would be a lie.
I could also say that I hate them because I can’t fit them back in the bottle,
but those who know me, know that finishing every bottle I open is a personal
mission which I am always prepared to accept, so there is never any need to
re-close bottles in my house.
The truth is that I hate them because I cannot
get them off my corkscrew. They either stick tighter than a politician caught
out in a lie, or come off so suddenly, I stab my fingers and cut them. Plastic
corks are an abomination on the face of the earth and I hope that every
producer who persists in using them drowns in a butt of alco-pop.
5. I hate... that Barbaresco isn’t made from
Barbera. Not fair guys. Just
not fair. They even come from the same damn region and you STILL couldn’t sort
it out! And whilst we are on the subject – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano isn’t
made from the Montepulciano grape either? Guys – get it together please. I mean
6. I hate... wax seals on bottles. When I say I want a glass of wine, of
course what I really mean is that I want lots of red, shiny, waxy bits sticking
in between my teeth. Not.
7. I hate... scoring wines. ‘15.5’ tells me nothing about a wine except
that it’s about three-quarters of the way to being perfect. Oh no wait, that’s
not true is it, because you NEVER EVEN USE HALF THE FREAKING SCALE. Why
score out of 20, if less than 10 is faulty and never gets used? Why score out
of 100 when no-one is interested below 89? Why bother calling yourself a ‘wine
writer’ at all if all you do is churn out numbers? I will admit I have done it when I’ve
reaaaaallly had to, but - grrrr. Pass the bottle.
8. I hate... Gewürztraminer. Sorry all you Gewürztraminer-makers out there, but when I want
something to dab behind my ears, I’ll choose Chanel. Floral and perfumed or fat
and oily – no thanks.
9. I hate... people who use the term ‘natural
wine’ to offload faulty, oxidised crap. Make your wine naturally if you can (bearing in mind that the whole way
we grow grapes for wine is pretty much contrary to what the vine will do if
left to its own devices, so natural is a bit of a subjective term here!),
experiment, push the envelope, try new stuff, but if it goes wrong – admit
failure and turn it into vinegar. Don’t put a hipster label on it and try and
pass it off as ‘natural’ because you’re doing no-one (least of all ‘natural
winemakers’) any favours at all.
10. I hate, hate, HATE... people getting confused
between the spellings of palate, pallet and palette. Especially if you’re in the wine industry – really,
there is no excuse here at all. But hey, I mean it’s up to you.
By all means
tell people your pallets are smooth and silky if you think that’ll help, but I
wouldn’t count on crowds of people turning up to lick your woodwork anytime