Top 10 wine clichés

WE AT CURIOUS hate when lazy wine communicators fall back on these tired banalities while speaking or writing about their subject. Wine is the world’s most diverse and thought-provoking drink – how hard is it to come up with fresh, engaging ways of talking about it? Unbelievable! P.s. Please don’t check our own copy.


1. ‘Hand harvested’: Yes, that’s nice. But machine harvesters have their own charms – cheaper than people (equals cheaper wine), can be mobilised quickly when grapes reach perfect ripeness or when bad weather threatens crop, can work in cool of night (better for grapes).

2. ‘Fruity’: This fruit-based beverage reminds me of…FRUIT!

3. ‘Cool climate’: Sahara Desert winemaker – “Our wines are cool-climate because of the twin influences of Lake Chad and the Red Sea.”

4. ‘Low-yield / old-vine’: Positive, unregulated terms like these are doomed to be sweated and ruined by wine marketers.

5. ‘Family owned’: Isn’t Gallo family owned?

6. ‘Sherry is the world’s most undervalued wine’: A phrase that’s just begging to introduce any discussion of this criminally-undervalued fortified wine.

7. ‘Terroir‘: You lost me at ‘terroir.’

8. ‘Hate Chardonnay, Love Chablis‘: The trade’s favourite anecdote involves a customer who claims to hate Chardonnay but enjoy Chablis – which is 100% Chardonnay. But it’s not unreasonable to like steely Chablis and loathe the oakier, oilier expressions of Chardonnay. Deal with it, wine trade!

9. ‘Food and wine pairing‘: One of our recent suggested ‘matches’ was scallop and peach ceviche. Be honest, did any of you make it?

10. ‘Barrels‘: The wine was matured for how long in barrel? Wow, and what type and toast level? New or used? Scintillating!

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