The Comité de Mauvaises Odeurs de Vin is coming under mounting pressure for ‘Argon taint’ to be added to the official list of wine faults.
The KGB (Keep Giving us Bottles) group – a hardline faction within the Circle of Wine Writers – claims the gas ‘causes irreversible changes to the organoleptic properties of wines’.
A number of their members, they say, have been able to detect it on ‘almost every zoom tasting miniature for the last 10 months’.
Scientists, however, remain sceptical of the claims.
‘Obviously, everyone tastes differently,’ explained Dr Sid Esthesia from the Flawed or Unusual Libations laboratory (FOUL). ‘So everyone has different abilities to pick up flavours.
‘Though it’s hard to say how this could be applied to Argon since its unreactive properties have been widely agreed on since 1785.’
Experience over science
But, Morgan Claret-Trouser, chairman of the KGB was adamant.
‘Assessing wines fairly has been rendered impossible since the arrival of these new-fangled Coravin-19 devices and what have you,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘Squirting a £100 wine out of a toy-town petrol hose or putting it in something the size of an eye-dropper bottle seems to strip it of its very soul.
‘My friends and I are convinced that’s down to the Argon, and we have decades of years of wine tasting experience which, in this instance, I think counts for more than so-called science.’
New sample rules
In response to the question marks over Argon, the Circle of Wine Writers has updated its best practice guidelines to those presenting samples for journalists.
‘We think it’s probably safest for wine merchants to send full bottles rather than miniatures from now on,’ said a spokesperson. ‘That way our members can assess the wines correctly with their dinner, and also monitor how the bottle develops over the course of a couple of episodes of Bridgerton.’
Henry Impecunious of the Skint Merchants Association, however, said he would continue using Argon for rebottling, and that the Circle of Wine Writers needed to get real.
‘It’s completely inert and has never had any impact at all on anything it’s come into contact with,’ he told Fake Booze.
‘And neither has Argon.’