Is there duller reading material than wine descriptions? Sure, there’s PARADE magazine, and everything on Zester, that goes without saying. But wine descriptions read with all the grace and wit of credit card privacy agreements. Wine writers always claim that they slave over their descriptions, but this rings about as true as insurance company commercials that now always feature geckos with accents, sexualized women who transform into fetish dolls, and lying, out-of-real-work actors. If only the insurance were as simple as the morons who sell the stuff. In an effort to, perhaps, jazz up wine descriptions, I’ll have another go at how I think famous, and actually talented, writers would tackle them.
e. e. cummings on Guigal Côte Rôtie (91 Pts)
plums (your pen-
and the Côteheywood
she’s a dynamite sen-
Tennessee Williams on Kistler Chardonnay (84 Pts)
Warm and hot, like your lover’s breath on a sultry summer evening, the smell of something tropical taking you to a past you can only faintly remember. Perhaps you were with a friend or a kind stranger, your pain tied to that empty bottle of wine on the bedstand, your failure still limp in your hand, reminding you that the wine finished poorly too after that big buildup, the whispered longing followed by the inevitable mendacity of love, and the empty promise of fame. There is no wine here, just a memory of wine, and beyond memory only death. Echoes of a cat on a hot tin roof, and what you wouldn’t give for a hot pussy instead. And if you had wanted a wine to smell of summer and smoke, you’d have bought an 08 Mendocino Pinot.
Rodney Dangerfield on Cameron Hughes Pinot Noir (88 Pts)
My wife wanted to taste this wine after sex. So I opened it as soon as she got home. I had to ask her if she had an ah-so. She wouldn’t stop starin’ at me. But she’s no prize, my wife, she’s ugly. Oh, I’m telling you, she’s ugly. She loves wines from Walla Walla—she thinks they’re named after her eyes. When she watches tennis, her head never moves. If her tongue could reach my fly she’d be an iguana. When she goes to a blind tasting everybody else puts on blindfolds. I asked her how the sex was. She said it was great, except why didn’t I tell her she needed a pedicure? I don’t get no respect, I tell ya. I asked my wife what she thought of this wine. “It’s great,” she tells me, “and tomorrow night after sex I’ll probably get a case.” Yeah, of the clap.
Charles Bukowski on Headbanger Zinfandel (98 Pts)
I loved this wine. I hit a guy over the head with it in a dark bar after he tried to look up the skirt of the woman I was trying to impress. It was in a paper bag, so I fucked him up blind. Turned out to be Headbanger Zin. Yeah, it did. It coldcocked the asshole and there was still some left in the broken bottom half of the bottle. In the punt. I love punts, I sucked this punt like it was the last fucking punt on Earth, and it was good, until I passed out while the woman took me in her mouth seven or eight times. I think I tasted blackberries and cigarette butt. She tasted last night. We both loved the length. When I woke up the punt was gone. So was the bottle. This wine is great, and I give it 98 points. I love its punt.
James Joyce on Alban Syrah (93 Pts)
The bruiseblue fruit sings to the pitfruit, perhaps peach, maybe arm, and the tongue hears the siren call of the daughters of Terpsichore, indeed a Solidchore of darklyblue dances on the lengua with little bite, and just the bitterness of those who have embraced Mistress Alcohol because you only liver once. And what is liver but the opposite of deader? And, I ask you, kind Syrah, that most Sereine of grapes, Shiraz I’m standing here, can you, Francly, call me a Cab?