Monday, January 14, 2013

Bad tasting note of the week

This wine tastes like these! Isn't that helpful?
After I ran a terrible tasting note from the Tampa Bay Times two weeks ago, I got an email from a longtime reader in the retail business. He passed along the tasting note below.

I don't know if I can make "bad tasting note of the week" a regular feature, but as PBS might say, maybe I can with support from readers like you.

I don't want to go all Natalie MacLean and run tasting notes without attribution. No, no: Full credit must be given where it's due, and if the note has a photo of the writer with it like this one, so much the better.

This note makes me feel a little lacking visually. I don't usually bother to describe white wines' color unless they're cloudy, but Gil comes up with "a bright fine citrine-yellow color with a star-bright core." He can see the Spanish sun in the glass!

And just in case you didn't know the other name for Japanese gooseberry, read on.


It's also known as physalis! Wow, that explains everything. Except for the fact that if a Key lime pie were made with kaffir limes, it would be a kaffir lime pie. But you gotta give him credit: he managed to name 7 fruits in the aroma and 5 different fruits on the palate. If you don't get 12 different fruits out of this wine, you're just not paying attention.

Keep those bad tasting notes coming, folks.

You can alert me to a bad tasting note by using my Twitter handle, @wblakegray
or by sending a message to  The Gray Report on Facebook.

16 comments:

rapopoda said...

Oh wow that tasting note screams 'look at me I'm a tw@!'

Pam Barksdale said...

I love your blog and read it daily. But I much prefer to focus on the wine rather than humiliation. I agree, the note wasn't helpful, but now I just feel for the writer, who was obviously trying. I'm a southern girl, and I guess courtesy and kindness just matter to me.

rapopoda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry Brooks said...

This is why wine writers get beat up during recess.

W. Blake Gray said...

Pam: Thanks for the comment, it's a worthy reminder.

Unknown said...

Hell I guess the only PC way to review a wine is to write "it's wine, it's good, drink it". It's a shame no bad reviews for a wine ever get published. There was always a certain amount of satisfaction in telling someone that their wine was so bad that I had to lick my dog's ass to get the taste out of my mouth.

Larry Brooks said...

I couldn't disagree more. It's very easy to be snarky or even crude like "unknown" in your comment about wine. My first mentor in wine taught me that it's a far more interesting exercise to try and say something positive about a wine you hate. A comment such as "I really like how liquid this wine is." would be a good example of this.

Fred Swan, www.norcalwine.com said...

The prose is literally purple.

chilecopadevino.com said...

Yeh.........I don’t get it.................... is a finish sharp as a tack short?

Matt J - Sacramento said...

If you can experience half of what that tasting note concludes and the wine sells for less than $10 how was this not the #1 Wine Spectator wine of 2012!?

Cabfrancophile said...

Good grief. If this guy can prattle on like this over $5 and $10 wines, what do his notes for truly world class wines look like? I'd imagine a 1st Growth Bordeaux would warrant a dissertation!

guren said...

Mr. Schwarz is one of the worst offenders I've seen for using unhelpful taste descriptors. I live in Japan and to my knowledge have never seen nor smelled a gooseberry, crushed or otherwise. In his January 2, 2013 review of Chateau Mayne Guyon (thanks for the link, rapo), Mr. Schwarz references crushed marionberries and Mirabelle plum skins. Are these positive qualities in a Bordeaux? At least thanks to Mr. Scharz and Wikipedia, I now know that a marionberry is a cross between the 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' blackberries. So there's that.

clay h. said...

I can't wait to see all that on a shelf talker.
The distributor will have to include a magnifying glass with each one!

ryan said...

Water Chestnuts? Seriously? When have they ever had an aroma or flavor.

Please keep these up, they are a reminder that adjectives are not our friends. :)

Christine McKelvey said...

Thoroughly enjoyable post. While I agree with Pam on courtesy and kindness, sometimes you need to "call a spade a spade."

Bob Kreisher said...

Kaffir Lime? One cooks with the leaves of Kaffir lime. Nobody eats Kaffir lime fruit. It is a bitter, pithy, irrelevant fruit.