Shiraz, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon – all you see is “wine, wine, and more refrigerated wine.” Why don’t you just admit that you can’t tell the difference? The world of wine is confusing, pretentious, and mostly made up. We’ve paired these wines with bullshit descriptors like “tannic” and “oaky” for you to memorize so that people stop harshing your buzz at the next wine tasting:
Is this a full-bodied wine with hints of tobacco? Or is it just another glass of wine that is red? The secret is, nobody knows. Nod your head “yes” as the sommelier asks if you can taste the “firm tannins” because seriously, nobody even knows what those are. You’ll never be classy, so try not to worry about it.
Wine “experts” will tell you that Merlots often taste of blackberries, which is ridiculous, because it actually just tastes like a red wine. If we were to compare it to another flavor, it would be “any of the other red wines on this list.” This is probably due to the fact that it is both red and a wine. Mumble something about “summer fruit” while reaching for your fifth glass.
Dry. Fruit forward. Versatile. What does it all mean? We literally could not have less of a clue. This red wine pairs well with a dark sweater, because it is mostly likely to fully absorb any stains. It also allegedly has “earth-driven layers”, so just drink it when camping or something?
The waiter will talk about its “buttered oak influences,” but all I know is that this is the wine that precipitated Kirsten’s intervention in the third season of The O.C. It’s a white wine, but like most “white” wines it’s really more yellow in color, so chalk it up to yet another senseless distinction in the wine world.
With descriptors like “leathery” and “sweet tobacco” you might think that wine enthusiasts are describing a kind, old man. You, of course, would be wrong, because they are obviously describing the taste of yet another indistinguishable red wine. Wine was invented for getting trashed at weddings. Words are for school. Just let me drink.
The bartender told me that Zinfandels pair well with fish tacos and spicy foods. I then politely asked him to stop telling me what a wine “pairs well with” unless he was actually going to bring me that food. Does the Zinfandel in question come with a free fish taco? No? Then why are we talking about fish tacos? Wine people are fucking weird.
Haha, really funny guys, let’s put an impossible name on some random white wine to make it sound fancy. Forget a descriptor for this one. This white wine’s only distinguishing factor is that you will never order it in a restaurant because you cannot pronounce it. If you must, do your best impression of the Swedish chef from Sesame Street. Hergen bergen, more wine please.
Sommeliers who tell you that this wine is herbal in character and suggests “freshly mown grass” are clearly trying to find use for themselves in this cruel world. In a just society, they’d be burned for fuel. Test the verity of this claim by taking your glass of wine outside. Proceed to take a sip of your wine, and then lick the grass. Announce to everyone that they do, indeed, taste the same. They’ll never know you’re a lying wino liar.
Rieslings should, reportedly, “taste fresh.” Wine experts, please gather and let me explain wine to you. Wine is old grape juice that we put in bottles, we leave it there for years, and only then do we drink it. There is no way that this should ever taste fresh. It should taste rotten and old and get you drunk. Make your eyebrows do a dance that says, “I am appropriately freshed-out by this Riesling.” That’ll throw them off the fact that you’ve slipped several bottles of the stuff into your purse.
If humanity can just admit that we’ve made a bunch of stuff up to feel better about getting drunk, we can just start calling wines “red” or “white” or “weird-colored” and leave it at that.