Fake Booze has two great regrets about the winner of our Crap Tasting Note of the Year.
Firstly, that we weren’t made aware of it much earlier, because it has made us chuckle literally EVERY SINGLE TIME we’ve read it – or even thought about it.
And secondly that we don’t know who wrote it.
In fact, no-one seems to know. Rumours abound, but it remains one of the great mysteries of our age. Like Donald Trump or Frosé.
If you know who it was – or, better still, you are the creator, please get in touch. We need to send you your four-foot high, solid gold Crappie statue.
This note was doing the rounds on Twatter at the start of this year and was, in fact, the inspiration for the whole Crap Tasting Note of the Year awards. It was so wonderfully, magnificently, self-indulgently ridiculous that we couldn’t help fall in love with it.
There must be more utter dross out there, we thought. Wouldn’t it be great to harvest it? So we did.
But none of it (so far at least) has got up to the standard of this one. This year’s Crappies has been a race that this note has led from gun to tape.
Crappest Tasting Note of the Year
‘A wonderful colour, diamond bright, frost catching the earliest light, still-life pewter, tension already writ in sermons of flinty stone and an excited effervescence. Peach kernel, mid-morning honeysuckle, orchard fruit just harvested, crushed almond and soft spice; a soloist does not need to be monochrome. The palate is youthful, of course, disciplined yet self-assured, all the vigour of the vintage held back, tightly wound yet ludic. A flirtatious cadenza, hints of exotic fruit, and even lightly buttered toast, hinting at the path we should follow, footfalls echoing in the memory, down the passage to the walled vineyard. 98 points’
Tragically anonymous, writing about Krug Clos du Mesnil 2006
This, it soon becomes clear, is a tasting note hasn’t been written; it’s been crafted.
From the very opening, with the rhyme of ‘bright’ and ‘light’ to the pointless alliteration of ‘excited effervescence’ (have you ever seen a lethargic effervescence?) it’s clear that we are dealing with tasting gibberish of the very highest order.
Yet the writer sustains it throughout. There’s more garbage in 97 words here than some writers manage in notes three times that size.
There’s unnecessarily archaic language (‘writ’), more alliteration (vigour of the vintage), and garbled imagery. Why would a soloist be monochrome, for Chrissake? What does it even mean? And why have you mixed up sound and colour?
But that final sentence… ah that final sentence. It’s so magnificently terrible. From the pearl-clutching ‘flirtatious cadenza’ to buttered toast somehow whispering in our ear about the path we should follow (eh?) and an utterly inexplicable reworking of a line from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets to close.
OK. So Clos du Mesnil is a walled vineyard, but Fake Booze is prepared to stick its neck out here and say that modernist poetry, however influential, probably DOESN’T BELONG IN A FUCKING TASTING NOTE.
And no, we’re not just annoyed because we had to look up ‘ludic’.
Like all great poetry, we’d suggest this tasting note really comes alive when read aloud.
We have asked three great names to do just that in our accompanying video, with Lawrence Olivier (dead), Alan Bennett (unaware) and John Angryman (fictional) really getting under the skin of this magnificent work.*
We suggest you do the same. Whether you’re a Wine Educator holding their young students in rapt attention – hoping, praying that one day, they too will be able to create 24-carat shite like this – or just reciting it in the comfort of your own home to your cat, revel in the words.
Don’t be monochrome. Glory in its flirtatious cadenzas. Love what’s been writ. Get ludic on yo ass.
This sort of mangled genius really doesn’t come around very often and we must make the most of it when it does. Ask your buttered toast. It knows the score…
It is, by some distance, the Crappest Tasting Note of the Year. And we salute the writer, whoever, wherever, whatever they are…
*You’ll need to be a supporter of Fake Booze to watch the vid. So if you’re not already, hit one of the pink Patreon prompts scattered round the site. Yes. The ones you’ve been steadfastly ignoring up to now. Those ones.
This is our final category from this year’s Crappies. Click here for the They Said What? award, here for Fruit Salad (crimes against language), here for Most Sexist, and here for Most Pretentious. #thecrappies