Wine Writing: Purple Prose?

Wine Writing: Purple Prose?


I'm easily distracted by YouTube and other web noise. If I'm tasting the latest batch of bottles on the kitchen counter, I like to hit the Silly Tasting Notes Generator for a lighter look at describing wines. Greg Sumner says that he created the script for the automated program after tasting a ton of wines on a recent Sonoma trip and thinking about all of the adjectives used to describe them.

You can choose silly or extra-silly. The generator reminds me just how ridiculous wine description can get (and yes, I'm guilty of purple prose too). Here are some examples:

Twisted but arcane Pinot Gris. Kicks you with skittle, oaky cottage cheese and perceptible hair-spray. Drink now through whenever the cows come home.

Wicked but underdone Barbera. Whispers of yellow taffy, whimsical C-ration and a modicum of lamb shank. Drink now through Friday.

Dark and mysterious but equally soggy Dessert wine. Throws out steamed vegetable, lacking in character frosted pop-tart and perceptible toothpaste. Drink now through never.

You get the picture. It's an amusing distraction, but also makes me ask whether you rely more on the description in a wine review or the score, or do you read wine reviews at all to make your purchases? Got a favorite over-the-top description?


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