Wine regions from Oregon to Austria have warned their customers that there might not be enough lies to go around for this year’s vintage.
Some regions have said that deception in their vintage reports will need to be strictly allocated, while others have said they will have ‘no option but to tell the truth completely’.
‘Our members typically have enough bullshit to turn any vintage into a top ten by the time the harvest report is written,’ said Tommy Rot of the All Brilliant Vintages group (ABV).
‘But even the French don’t have the chutzpah to pretend this year has been anything other than a total disaster.’
Lies, he warned, could be at their lowest level since records began.
Washington State is reckoned to be on the point of downgrading its vintage rating from ‘bummer’ to ‘totally sucks ass’, while authorities in Burgundy have already given 2021 their lowest classification of ‘fuque de clusteur’.
Burgundian Jacques Menteur’s family have been lying about the quality of their vintages at Domaine du Sarko for generations. But he says he’s never seen a harvest as unspinnable as 2021.
‘This terroir is famous for producing world-beating whoppers,’ he said. ‘But this year I can’t see us managing more than a few minor untruths and a bit of gentle exaggeration here and there.’
He was, he said, considering declassifying his 2021 to being a ‘vin sans publicité’ or ‘hype-free’.
Even in Champagne, where houses are able to call on surplus stockpiled bullshit left over from previous vintages – so-called bollockage – supplies of mendacity are running low.
‘They’ve made up so much crap over the last 20 years that there wasn’t enough in reserve for a year this terrible,’ said champagne journalist Otto Lysis. ‘There will be some non-veracity (nv) in press releases this year, but don’t expect a vintage performance.’
Fine wine disaster
The world’s fine wine merchants have already expressed their concern about what the atypically honest conditions might mean for the next year.
‘The entire investment market is predicated on having a steady supply of hype, exaggeration and outright lying to rinse money out of wealthy but ill-informed customers,’ said Al O’Cation of merchant Barely Bothers and Crudd.
‘Take that out of the equation and we’re just left with trying to sell what’s actually in the bottle.
‘I mean, you can imagine what that will do to things like Whispering Angel.’
Climatologists have warned producers not to see this as a one-off event.
‘The world is changing,’ said Sonne Soufre of the natural wine pressure group Extraction Rebellion. ‘So wineries can expect to have to face up to more extreme “whether events”.
‘Specifically, ‘whether or not the public want to buy their latest vintage now they know what it’s really like.’