The Art of the Wine Review
I write lots and lots of descriptions of wines for clients’ back labels and marketing materials. It’s marketing writing, but still it’s usually pretty straight forward stuff, the kind of thing you see in most wine reviews.
I just wish I had the ability to write about wine like this:
"The fruit here is not cherries or berries. this is rustic, earthy Pinot Noir. A good Savigny can bring to mind the song "Sweet Virginia," from Exile on Main Street, the one with the line about Got to scrape the something-or-other right off yer shoes. This Savigny takes us way down home. You can almost hear the pigs oinking and Howlin’ Wolf’s little red rooster crowing. Superb depth, long and full, delicious from start to finish."
Who do you think wrote this description?
Darryl Roberts (Wine X)
The Producer of the wine
The Acker Merrill Folk
This strikes me as the kind of wine description that does everything right. The wine is described well. I have a connection to the wine through culture and art, I have context, I clearly understand the individuality of the wine and I’m entertained just by reading the review. Oh, and I want to buy it.
Not much has changed in the way wine is described in the past 100 years. We see more superlatives being used, I suppose. And we’ve had to figure which words to use so that we don’t overuse the terms "huge" or "big". But generally, the art of describing a wine hasn’t much changed.
I don’t suspect it will either. But if we can get more people to write with this sort of unique, entertaining and complete voice we’ll have a real art on our hands.