Ah, the internet loves a good list, doesn’t it? So I thought I’d turn the “About” page on this website into one of my very own. Especially as I decided that the best way to explain what I’m trying to achieve here is, perhaps, to provide a list of things I won’t do in this blog.
1. I will not give any of the wines 100-point rating
I know this has become the wine reviewing standard but, when so many wines I see are rated in the 90s, the whole system starts to seem a bit shonky to me. Can our good friend Mr Halliday (I’m writing in Australia) really say that a wine he gives a 92 is really any worse than 95? Aren’t we forgetting that wine is all a matter of taste, entirely subjective, and therefore impossible to quantify?
Alas, I appreciate that sometimes we all need a quick indication of how a review is going to pan out. So, at the end of my wafflings on the bottle I have sampled, I have opted for a simpler system called the “cognitive bias equation”.
Because all I can really tell you is how a wine made me feel, I will let you know if it was a “glass completely full”, a “glass half full”, a “glass half empty”, or a “glass totally empty” kind of a wine.
2. I will not provide up-to-date information on the wine world
There are plenty of blogs/websites/magazines that do that sort of thing already and, sadly, I don’t have the resources to compete.
3. I will not use wine-wanker terms
Ever heard someone use the words “flabby”, “narrow”, or “firm” to describe wine and wondered what they were on about?
You are not alone!
These are amiably referred to as “wine-wanker” words, and you should immediately distrust any individual who uses them. Inevitably some wine jargon will creep in my reviews, but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum, only use ones that make sense, and back them up with an interesting metaphor or simile where possible.
4. I will not drink any of the wine upside down
This isn’t really a serious one. I just wanted to get up to 5 on my list because only having a list of 4 might seem a bit lazy. I could have put something like “No badgers will be harmed in the writing of these reviews” or something equally pointless, but somehow the upside down thing seemed more important. Needless to say, I will adhere to both of these important rules because choking is no joke and I’m rather fond of badgers.
And, most importantly…
5. I will not spit out any of the wine that I review
This is not mouthwash, chewing tobacco, gum, or cigars we are talking about here. People buy wine to drink it. Film critics don’t write articles based on three minute trailers; music critics don’t listen to one track on an album and assess the quality of the band on that one song alone; food reviewers don’t chew small portions of meals from the restaurants they visit then go to the toilet and regurgitate them because they are worried they’ll get fat… I exaggerate for effect, but you see my point. In my opinion, how the wine finishes up in the back of your throat and in your belly is a pretty important part of drinking wine. To neglect that is to miss out on an important dimension of the whole experience.
Which leads me to my two glass promise…
I’m gonna go ahead and assume that you’re going to drink the wine like I do. Either with a meal, watching a movie, or with some friends over. If that’s the case then you’ll know what I mean when I say that if I’m having a glass of wine, I’m going to have a full glass of wine. Not only that, if I like the wine, I’m definitely going to be after another glass! It is often only after this second one that I (funnily enough) find the inspiration to formulate words and phrases that might come close to describing the sometimes magical fluid that has just made its way through my lips, over the taste buds, down my throat and into my stomach. So, here it is, my guarantee to you, my sporadic internet reader (please feel free to imagine me holding my hand on my heart here if you feel it adds to the sincerity and solemnity of my oath):
I promise I will not post a review on this blog without having drunk at the very least two whole glasses of the wine in question.
I know, the things I do for you…