I am guilty of being a WWW user! But, after last, night, I am resolved to change my ways. Yes, I will attempt never again to use Wanky Wine Words to describe my wine. According to the irrepressible Andy Hadfield of RealTimeWine, wanky wine words are banned and should result in immediate ridicule; his list includes:
Nose (it’s just sounds stuck up, and it’s a slippery slope to other snobby words);
Note (this isn’t music, otherwise there’d be noise things going on);
Residual (unless describing the fact that you’re running out of wine) …
His list goes on, a string of words that, to my shame, I’ve fallen into the habit of using.
Last night, along with a group of about 14 writers, I joined Andy and Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright, editor of Winestyle, a recently launched magazine, for a wine soiree at HQ restaurant in Sandton. The restaurant is an interesting concept; there is no menu, you have a salad to start, followed by sirloin and chips. What you see is what you get, and what you get is mighty fine.
We were greeted with flutes of Pongracz MCC (South Africa’s leading Méthode Cap Classique) in the newly released half-bottles (tres pretty), before moving on to a blind tasting of red wines, which we had to comment on, score out of 10, suggest a food match and drinking occasion, and guess the price of.
There was much hilarity at the table. Unfortunately I was too busy to jot down some of the terms used, but Twitter reminds me of terms like ‘farm dirt with pavlova’ and ‘Watered down ribena’. As we ate and drank – and guffawed (is that a wanky word?) – the evening took on a slightly surreal air, with one handsome young bloke announcing – out of the blue – that he’d once done a 2-year stint as a taxidermist.
I just guessed at the prices of the wines (I order wine and my husband collects and pays for it, or wine gets sent to me by estates to try out, I seldom buy it myself, so I don’t have a good grasp of what it costs), but here are my answers to the ones we tasted:
1. Smokey, nostalgic; like school-shoe polish. 6/10. Would go with boerewors. Occasion: compulsory Xmas party for husband’s staff.
2. I like a bit of rough spice, this wine is too much of a Good Girl. 7/10. Beef Wellington. Occasion: Daughter’s headmistress coming to dinner.
3. I retract my previous comment; this wine is as rough as a wife-beater in a dirty vest. 4/10. Hamburger’s friend; I’d serve it to test the mettle of a prospective son-in-law.
4. Reduce it and it’ll make a great vinegar. 3/10. Spaghetti Bolognese on a miserable Monday.
5. Smooth, unobtrusive. 7/10. Babotie or mild curry on Granny’s birthday.
6. Sexy as Colin Firth with a cigar. 8/10. Carpaccio in front of the fireplace, followed by steamy hanky-panky.
It was a wonderful evening and I see that the crowd carried on having fun long after my husband arrived to drive me home safely.
Winestyle magazine is free to anyone living in South Africa. All you have to do to get your copy is subscribe to their website, click here.