Well, what are the holidays for if not for idle speculation and random musings? This year, my thoughts have turned to world domination and I have decided to let rip about some fundamental things wrong in the world of wine. Not the product (although you can stop making those fruit flavoured wine coolers right now if you like. And the low alcohol wines too) but just a few other associated things which I think we could do better. Appoint me Queen of the Quaffing and behold – my word is now law.
Stop referring to a liquid as ‘dry.’
I mean, really. Wine is SO clearly not dry, but as wet as a fish’s wet bits, to quote Blackadder. If we’re talking about lack of sugar, how about we use the word – ooh, I don’t know – ‘sugar’ maybe? As in ‘it has some residual sugar’ ‘it does not have any residual sugar.’ Calling a liquid ‘dry’ is like calling a politician honest – nonsensical and utterly untrue. And whilst we’re on this subject….
Stop calling sweet sherry ‘cream’.
What is it with sugar and wine non-speak? Why can’t we just say ‘sugar’? Are we adding the juice of several cows to our wine? Are we suggesting whipping our Oloroso and frosting a cake? No? Then why can’t we just come out in the open and say ‘sweet?’ Creamy lees, creamy texture, creamy MLF if you must, but cream sherry? Moving on…
Barbaresco shall from henceforth be made from Barbera.
I can just picture some wizened old chap with a droopy moustache and a pasta-paunch musing “So how about if we call this grape ‘Barbera’ and then look, in the same region there’s this area called Barbaresco but you know what would be funny? Let’s say that it’s NOT allowed to be made from Barbera, even though that would be memorable and helpful and instead, let’s introduce Nebbiolo into the mix and confuse ALL wine students from now until the end of time. That’ll be fun won’t it?” Italy – you’ve had thousands of years to get your act in gear – from now on – Barbaresco is made from Barbera and that is that.
And whilst we’re on the subject…
Oy! French folk. Don’t think you’re getting off lightly either. What is it with Muscadet, Muscadelle and Muscat?? What – it never occurred to you to come up with something a bit different for the names of two grape varieties which are totally unrelated to each other and one wine which uses neither one? Sacré bleu. You should have sorted it out mes amis so now I shall do it for you. Loire folk – your wine is to be called Melonet sur Lie, and Bordelais, your grape shall henceforth be known as Petit Pas-Très-Important. Cos it’s not.
No More White Zinfandel
I for one, was absolutely baffled as to how America could vote for Donald Trump last year – as inexplicable as Brexit, I thought to myself. And then I realized that actually, all Americans clearly spend their lives wearing some form of reverse rose-tinted glasses because how else can you account for the fact that they call a pink wine white?? Take ‘em off Americans and open your eyes - the ‘white’ wine is pink and Mr Trump was one very, very bad idea.
The Coastal Region of South Africa must have, er, a coast!
Revolutionary idea, I know but enough is enough There are no beach resorts in Paarl, lifesavers are not generally needed on the banks of the Berg River in Franschhoek Valley and Wellington is not the surfing capital of the Western Cape. Stop confusing everyone, accept that you are inland and move on.
So there you have it. Just a few little tweaks but I think you’ll agree that they’ll make the wine world a better, simpler, more understandable place to be. Happy Christmas folks and roll on the New Year and the reign of Queen Cathy!