Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wine of Life

Writing for wine bottle labels and wine connoisseur magazines has to be a fun job. It must first entail tasting the contents, then dreaming up seductive ways of describing the taste. Nowadays attempts to seduce buyers seems to have hit new heights (or depths). I'm not a wine drinker myself, Scotch is my one and only tipple, wine gives me stomach ache. Husband is a red wine enthusiast. The small collection of labels on bottles in our wine rack usually offers up a few chuckles. In articles over the years I've seen a California cabernet, described by asking the reader to "imagine Naomi Campbell in latex"; an Australian shiraz was described as a "Chippendales dancer in leather chaps—tight, full-bodied and ready for action"; a New Zealand cabernet merlot like "a Victoria's Secret fire sale: smoky charred wood, leather, spicy and very seductive."

James Thurber's classic cartoon :

“Men are like wine-some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”
― Pope John XXIII
People are like wines - all very different, and their " flavour" is somewhat dependent on year and location of production. Perhaps astrologers might, as an experiment, adopt the style of some more colourful wine writers.

How would my husband fare if described by an astrologer-cum-wine connoisseur? Let's see: born in Kansas, early Aries, Leo rising, Leo Moon. Mercury /Saturn in Pisces. Venus in Taurus.
From the lush wheat striped, cloud shadow dappled plains of northern USA comes this sunny, enthusiastic little number. There are hints of grandeur here, a glance which tells of royal pretense, yet beneath it all a lingering, arty, softness and sweetness. Think Laurence Olivier in pink tights, carrying a camera.
I ought to attempt my own wine-flavoured interpretation. Born in a port on the North East coast of England, Aquarius Sun, Aries Moon, Cancer rising. Mercury in Capricorn, Venus Sagittarius
The grey, storm-tossed North Sea coast of England has brought forth this somewhat obtuse and mentally energetic product. Travels well, but reacts instantly when upset. A hard working, capable little number when enthused. Think bright purple Mini-Cooper with wire wheels and political bumper stickers.
Wouldn't it be fun if we all came out of the womb with an inscription such as this on our backsides, like a bottle of wine?

Back in 2008, when I originally posted along these lines, blog-friend R.J. Adams added his personal wine-label description, I loved it, so will add it here:
Vintage '46 RJ Adams: Old fart from prunes picked on the east side of a Liverpool vineyard. A somewhat bitter taste. Lacking clarity and with just a hint of 'behind the gasworks' on the nose. Can be drunk with large bowls of scouse, but probably best used to disinfect the toilet bowl.


mike said...

Good ones, Twilight...a funny posting! I'm pretty sure that each of us DO get labelled by each and every person we encounter. As each encounter develops into an association, then relationship, the adjectives and adverbs pile on, for better or worse.

“We wear a lot of labels in our lives, and it's so very easy to be defined by them. We have grown somehow accustomed to thinking of ourselves as a size eight or a size fourteen, as a capricorn or a taurus, as single or in love.” Ally Carter, Cheating at Solitaire

mike (again) said...

Don't label me a clown in as Britain:

"Eldridge, whose clown name is Bluebottle, said: 'This is doing clowning no favours and is harming society.

'The people behind it might see it as a bit of a laugh, but for the victims it can be a horrible experience.

'The fear of clowns – coulrophobia – is a real thing and some people will react very badly to this. Not to mention people who are elderly or vulnerable.

'This has nothing to do with clowning, it's a small group of people with stupid views and it spoils the fun for everybody else.'"

Twilight said...

mike + (again) ~ I'm really not a fan of labels, except in an attempt at humour (as here). :-)

I was hoping you'd entertain us with your own astro-wine label though.
;-) Are you mellow, sharply acid, fruity, a cheeky little vintage....or what - come on now!

The linked article: What a strange state of affairs. Very odd!

R J Adams said...

Good Lord, Twilight! I'd totally forgotten that offering. Perhaps a trifle more vinegary these days?

James Higham said...

Actually, that's an excellent idea - what would the label say about us? Will have to nick and attribute.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Maybe - at least you're not corked though. ;-)

Twilight said...

James Higham ~ Be my jest! :-)

mike (again) said...

Scorpio Plus: A bold, yet tame, first swill...not for the conservative or faint of heart...savory and full-spirited, with nuances of fruits, nuts, and ozone after-tones...words alone can't do this aged vintage justice...defies description. A must try and a bargain for the price.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Nice one! So pleased you reached around and wiped the dust from your label, mike!
One of the classic North American vintages, for sure. ;-)

mike (again) said...

LOL, Twilight! I should have added that I'm competitively priced with Trader Joe's "Two Buck Chuck".

This probably pertains more to aj, but while in Greece, I drank their national wine, retsina...a grape wine imbibed with pine resin. It definitely has a piney flavor. Not for everyone, but I did enjoy it and have purchased it here in the states...can be difficult to find, however.

I watched some food & wine program that gave high marks for Italian Grappa. Grappa is distilled from ONLY grape, seeds, and stems. Supposed to be very healthful.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I've never seen a Trader Joe's store - sounds like a good place to shop!

I've heard about retsina, haven't tasted it though - probably quite potent and hangover inducing I bet.

I have tasted Grappa, during my time in Italy, but it was too rough and strong for my wimpy palate.

Lol - speaking of rough and strong reminds me of my days in hotels when seconded to cover for bar staff absent from duty in the "downstairs bar" in the cellar area of a Lancashire seaside hotel -the bar was a popular haunt of locals rather than holiday makers who seldom ventured in.
There were three kinds of beer on draught: "bitter", "mild" and "rough". The "rough" was dark brown and, it was said, kind of chewy! LOL! Probably brewed from the sweepings-up at the brewery.

mike (again) said...

Rough beer, eh...maybe they imported it from Rough Draft Brewing in San Diego...some of their beer labels are:
Eraser IPA
Southern Triangle
Emboozlement Tripel
Freudian Sip Strong Ale

mike (again) said...

Hey, Twilight...I just came across an idiom that I'd not heard prior:
"Bob's your uncle". I looked it up on Wiki and it says it's common in Britain. You've not used that phrase in your you use it with aj? I'll have to start using this phrase so people can label me weirder...LOL.

...And Bob's your uncle is an expression of unknown origin, commonly used in Britain and Commonwealth nations. Typically, someone says it to conclude a set of simple instructions, similar to the French expression "et voilà!" or the American slang expressions "...and that's that," or "...and there you go!"

"Bob's your uncle" is an exclamation that is used when "everything is all right" and the simple means of obtaining the successful result is explained. For example: "left over right; right over left, and Bob's your uncle – a reef knot". It is sometimes elaborately phrased Robert is your mother's brother or similar for comic effect. With his customary whimsical humour, P.G. Wodehouse extended it to "Robert's your father's nearest male relative".

mike (again) said...

This is what I read and it made absolutely no sense:

No need to buy superfine sugar. Just a couple of pulses and “Bob’s your uncle.”

Twilight said...

mike ~ LOL! Well, I don't use it - it'd only confuse the natives!
The rest of the saying is

"Bob's yer uncle & Fanny's yer aunt"

In American it'd be (kind of)
"so there ya go" (or is that still British?) Or "That's that!"
Or "Done and dusted". Or "Sorted!"

Oh - you said some of that - sorry - I'm sleepy!

Or in posh-ese: I say old boy, that has the problem well and truly solved - all is now A-ok!

"Just a couple of pulses and you'll have it made!" (Whatever "it" is.