Wine Descriptions for the Rest of Us

by Dan Berkman

Wine Descriptions for the Rest of US:

For those of us plebeians who cannot tell Sauvignon Blanc from grape Slice, we have the wine guide for you. Got a first date or a family wake and really want to make a good impression? Use this guide to know what you are really buying and what to expect from these works of wine art. (Note: these are real wine descriptions.)

J. HOFSTÄTTER Gewürztraminer Alto Adige Kolbenhof 2006

Displays intense aromas of orange peel, pie-crust and dried pineapple, with a hint of other citrus fruits. Full-bodied, thick and oily, with spicy clove on the fruity finish. Drink now.

Translation: Featuring accented words last used in 13th century Austrian novels, this drink will show your allegiance to the Fuhrer as you indulge in a neglected pineapple upside-down pie that was left out to ferment. This dessert wine, somehow oily despite being wine, will have you under the table and behind the wheel in no time.

WILSON Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Sawyer Vineyard 2005

Laserlike in focus, with black cherry and sage aromas and concentrated yet ripe plum, pepper, licorice and mineral flavors that take on depth at the end. Best from 2009 through 2011

Focused like Shaq at the free-throw line, this wine was been fermented in the presence of plum, cracked black pepper, black licorice, a meatball sub, and a slab of kitchen countertop granite. Turns into a pumpkin after 2011, but will be a pumpkin with aromas of pear, oregano, and Gillette shaving gel.

Rosenblum Petite Sirah Napa Valley Pickett Road 2005

Complex, tight and tannic, with chocolate and coffee flavors that give richness to the ripe cherry and berry notes. The tannins get chewy on the finish, but the flavors linger nicely. Drink now through 2008.

This Jewish wine is in fact just Starbucks cherry chocolate coffee brewed and shipped in a glass bottle. The intense flavors will stay with you for months. We have no idea why it is chewy. Do not drink this.

Dr. Loosen Riesling Spätlese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Erdener Treppchen 2006

An elegant style, with typical apricot, lime and slate notes, along with strawberry cream. It’s light-weight, seductive and succulent, with a lingering finish. Drink now through 2028.

Named after a gritty 1970s pornographic actor, this wine is jam-packed with fresh fruit (like fifteen peaches in each bottle) and patio flagstone. The essence of strawberry cream comes from fermented Jolly Ranchers that make for a pleasant prank on underage trick-or-treaters. This wine will draw you in and make you cheat on your husband.

Chateau Fombrauge St.-Emilion 2005

Dark in color, with intense aromas of dried mushroom and very ripe fruit. Almost raisiny. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and lots of ripe fruit. Turns meaty and raisiny. A very mature style, but one that I like a lot. This is always a wonderful value. Best after 2013.

Charmed by a ghastly black hue that would shy away Satan himself. A takeout container of veal marsala was accidentally dropped into one of the casks, thus explaining the aromas of mushroom and the meatamorphosis. Tastes damn-near like raisins. Wait until 2013 for the veal to fully dissolve.

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