I was recently at a wine tasting in a local liquor store when I heard the guy who was pouring samples telling customers he tasted “nuances of wet earth” in one of the wines. Yeah, nuances of wet earth. Okay, it’s not an uncommon descriptor for wine, and there can be some pretty weird flavor profiles that people taste. I get it. It just seemed out of place in a setting where most of the people there had a twelve pack of Bud Light in their hands. But when one customer noted that the wine tasted like a Fruit Roll-Up, the pourer jumped in saying, “I don’t think that was the winemaker’s intent. Most wine drinkers taste earthier flavors”.
What!?? Waaayyy–eeeet just a second here, Thurston Howell! I hate to break this to you but you’re just the guy that somebody paid to pour the wine. You can say what you taste in the glass but you don’t get to tell us what we taste when we drink this stuff. Someone, please tell this guy the point of wine is to enjoy yourself, not to elevate your status in some geeky, head-of-the-class, pseudo teacher’s pet, elitist sort of way. All this guy needed was a monocle and cane to complete his pompous-ass attire. In one quick statement, he just turned off a potential customer to wine and completely erased all the work the industry has done in the last fifteen years to rid itself of that snobby image.
“Tell you what,” I thought. “You can stay here and try to sell your wine by showing everyone you’re a jerk. Good luck with that. Me, I’ll be next door with my loud friends sitting belly up to the bar, drinking wine that tastes like Fruit Roll-Ups, trying to belch the phrase ‘nuances of wet earth’.”
As you drink this week’s recommendation, remember that nobody can tell you what you like, don’t like, should like, or for that matter, what you taste in a wine.
Foxglove 2007, Cabernet Savignon ($16.00): Finding a good California Cabernet in this price range can be tough sometimes. I like this one because I taste more than just one flavor when I drink it. On one hand I taste bigger flavors. One might describe them as, I don’t know, nuances of wet earth? On the other hand I can taste something fruity as well: Red cherries maybe–but if you’re getting Fruit Roll-Ups, that’s cool too.