Taking On Wine Cliches

Frank Prial, the venerable and former head wine writer for the New York Times, has an article running about the Internet that takes on the issue of Cliches in wine writing. To take his poke at the ever overused phrases that populate the wine writing genre he channels "Mr. Arbuthnot", the persnickety creation of Frank Sullivan who wrote for the New Yorker in the 1930s. As Mr. Prial explains, the creation of the cliche expert Mr. Arbuthnot was done to "set out to do battle with the inane and the banal in popular writing."

It’s was an easy target for "Mr. Arbuthnot" then just as it is for Mr Prial today.

So, what does Mr. Prial’s "Mr Arbuthnot" have a problem with when it comes to the wine lexicon? He starts with the term "Nose". Too overused to be of any value he thinks. Perhaps. Luckily we can easily substitute the term "aromas" or "bouquet" and easily satisfy Mr. Arbuthnot.

The term "Hand Crafted" comes in for particular scorn and I have to agree with this assessment as well as with the observation, "How else would you ‘craft’ something than with your hands?"

The poking that goes on in this article is directed at a lot of different targets, not just the wine writers and wine marketers who use the phrase most often. It’s a good read.

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