A radical new wine guide has been published claiming to make wine ‘more accessible to posh white men.’
Guide author Lynn Guist said the idea for the book came to her when she spotted ‘groups of middle-aged tweed-wearers looking baffled at wine tastings.’
‘A lot of the language around wine is highly technical and exclusionary,’ said Guist. ‘You or I might understand what terms like ‘attractive’, ‘well-made’ and ‘delicious’ mean. But this group wouldn’t have a clue.
‘The people they hang out with would use words like ‘ritzy’, ‘afternoonified’, and ‘bang-up-to-the-elephant’.’
Failure to use ‘the language of the Avenue’, she said, was contributing to a feeling among a whole sector of society that wine was ‘not for them’.
‘You might think that everyone is familiar with words like ‘unbalanced’, ‘fresh’ or ‘brioche’,’ she told Fake Booze.
‘But in fact this sort of language really discriminates against middle-aged men in brightly coloured trousers.
‘We have to speak to them in words they understand, and use terms such as skewiff, crispish, and ‘smells of nanny’s crumpets’’.
Je ne comprends pas
Guist pointed out that just one bad experience can turn posh white men off wine for good.
‘One of my readers says he was complimenting a winemaker on the nervosité, goût de terroir, and sous bois aromas of his wine, only for the man to tell him he had no idea what he was going on about.
‘Probably because he was from Oregon.’
The group Helping Excluded Poshies Contribute At Tastings (HEPCAT) says that the guide is already giving entitled middle-aged men the extra confidence needed to be both inaccurate and domineering at wine tastings.
‘It’s amazing how quickly they learn to spout utter balls with confidence,’ said HEPCAT’s Ade Package. ‘Just like they do in every other area of their life.’
The group had carried out a survey to find out about the impact of the new guide and said that it had received messages from people claiming to be ‘sozzled’, ‘wozzled’, ‘jugged’, ‘pie-eyed’, and ‘lit up like a Christmas tree’ about it.
‘We think that’s positive,’ said Package. ‘But to be honest your guess is as good as ours.’
Social scientists have said that the guides could be the starting point for an exciting programme of social upliftment for the corduroy- and tweed-wearing classes
‘Accepting the use of terms like ‘frou-frou’ will open up a whole new world of taste to this marginalised group,’ said sociologist D’Emma Graphic.
‘You have to remember that most of these people have been completely ignorant about wine all their life.
‘Even though in many cases they’ve worked in the industry for years.’
Read here about an educational group’s bold plan to ‘remystify’ wine; and here to read about the huge ‘notes versus scores’ split in Italian wine.