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Wine, Words & Wednesday, No. 85 (Is this wine awful or awesome?)

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Today’s words come to us from Evan and Brian Mitchell (The Psychology of Wine), via Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible.

I’m still steeped in studying for my CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine) exam, and Karen MacNeil’s Wine Bible has been helping me sort out some of the more frustrating regions (I’m looking at you, Burgundy).  Taken in the original context, the Mitchell’s were writing specifically about Old World wines.  Karen O’Neill uses the words to help describe complexity in wine.  And how, often times, complexities themselves can be complex.

Man, oh man do I love these words.  Been there.  Is this wine awful or awesome?  You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to decide, but sometimes it is.  Sometimes it takes a glass or three to arrive at a verdict.  One of my first experiences with red Burgundy could have turned me off to it forever.  I remember thinking, this tastes like a compost pile.  Why to people worship this stuff??  But fortunately, I was with a wise wine-friend who told me, be patient — if you rush, you’ll miss the reward.  And so we had a second glass.  And then, magic happened.  That compost pile morphed into a wine that curled my toes and left me speechless (which btw, is a proven barometer for wine greatness).

The moral of my story?  Sometimes, a really superb wine is simply shy.  It needs a little time and patience before it reveals its awesomeness.

And other times . . . you just have a glass of really crappy wine.  😉

Have you ever needed three glasses to decide if a wine is awful or awesome?


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