Crap Tasting Note of the Year: Most Sexist

Pic: Rob 'Swiss Tony' Johnson

Of all the categories in the Crap Tasting Note of the Year awards, the Most Sexist is the one that requires no real introduction.

Though if any lovely young women are struggling to understand it, we suggest you ask the kindly old man next to you. Yes. That one. The one with his hand on your knee.

Oh, don’t be so bloody sensitive – he’s just being affectionate. Honestly. Bloody feminazis.

To be honest, we were surprised there weren’t more entries in this category. Given how commonplace low-level sexism is in the world of booze – not to mention mid-level and high-level sexism as well – we were expecting hundreds of notes here rather than the dozens we got.

Conclusion: we all need to write a lot more sexist notes over the next 12 months so we can increase awareness of this very real and serious issue next year.

Most Sexist Tasting Note of the Year

‘If this was a woman, I’d want to make love to it every night. And in the morning. And afternoon, if I could find the time… and energy…”

Jim Murray, in his Whisky Bible, writing about Penderyn Celt

Sometimes a note reveals far more about the author than about the drink. This is one. And none of it is good.

Seriously, there really isn’t anything for us to say about this. We wrote a story about Swiss Toni’s Sexy Whisky Guide for Men (see below) when this story broke. Apparently drinking Penderyn Celt really is a lot like making love to a beautiful woman.

And of course, the image we want to accompany it is of an old man’s struggles with erectile dysfunction.

It’s beyond parody, beyond satire, beyond redemption.

And if you ever go for a drink at Jim’s house, on this evidence, maybe take your own glass.


‘A very fine almost languid mousse. The nose takes a little coaxing at first, hints of cooking apples, wild strawberries with a touch of brioche and rose petals. Good definition. The palate is well defined, very good acidity, a little taciturn at first, lots of minerality rather than fruit intensity, reserved and perhaps stony in character. Very precise. Not the rosé you would pour to seduce a woman, but to show her you have taste.’

Neal Martin, on Bollinger nv rosé, Bordeaux Index

Admittedly, this is quite an old note, and one that’s probably aged less well than the wine it describes. But there’s a fair bit to unpick here. Firstly, it’s clearly a pretty grim champagne. Words like ‘taciturn’, ‘reserved’ and ‘takes coaxing’ suggest a mouthful of spiky acidity with as much fruit as you’d find in a car battery.

So we’re not sure why this would show anyone that you’ve got taste. Unless, of course, the woman you’re pouring it for is so shallow they’re just impressed by the fact that it’s Bolly. Most women don’t know much about wine, so…

But, more to the point, why are we assuming that the only people reading this note are men? When did seduction and taste become mutually exclusive? And when did we measure wines against WHAT KIND OF WOMEN WE’D POUR THEM FOR? It’s just plain weird.

Fake Booze is now considering a scoring system where wines are rated out of 100 and women (NOT men) are rated according to a new wine seduction scale. From Blossom Hill up to Petrus. ‘Met this woman last night… she was troisieme cru at least.’

‘I can’t remember a time when Angelina Jolie was obscure, and this wine might be just as sexy. It delivers classic aromas of currant, cassis, vanilla and tobacco leaf as surely as she handles that English accent in the Tomb Raider movies. On the palate the wine delivers juicy red and black fruits with a medium to full body and dusty tannins. The finish is as soft and supple as Angelina’s, uh, lips.’

Jeff Runquist Wines, writing about R Cabernet 2008

No Jeff. Bad Jeff. Get down. I’m so sorry. He doesn’t usually hump the cases – it’s just he has this thing for Angelina Jolie.

To be honest, we’re not sure this is sexist so much as plain stalkery.

It opens with a priapic non-sequitur (where is the connection between obscurity and sexiness?) continues with a tumescently stretched simile (wine flavour/English accent) and ends up with the taster frotting himself to a climax in a thoroughly disturbing grunted money shot.

Did it make you want to drink the wine? Nope. Us neither.

Maybe take a hot shower.

But not drink the wine.

‘Pure dark luxury… ladies melt for this silky-smooth wine… It’s tall, dark and handsomely fruity. If the person you’re making a personalised gift for likes their BIG fruity wines that have so much flavour you could stand a spoon in it – this is the one for you!’

Winetime website, NZ, writing about their Central Otagan Merlot 2018

We mean… seriously? Is this a tasting note or the breathless back cover of a Mills & Boon novel? ‘Fresh out of debutante school, Araminta was determined not to fall for the first man she met. But she couldn’t resist the flashing tannins and rampant fruit of the tall dark Duke Merlot of Otago.’

This is 50 shades of Drivel. We couldn’t get past hearing the ‘Ladies melt…’ bit in a voice from a 1950s washing machine ad. And of COURSE it has to be sweet. In fact, impossibly, cloyingly ‘stand a spoon up’ sweet, because THAT’S WHAT WOMEN WANT. Pass us the insulin. Now! And the sick bucket while you’re at it.

Or perhaps – as one of our judges pointed out – the wine was left for our gasping heroine by a mystery man clad head to foot in black. No, the lady does not like it when you break into her room through the window and leave unsolicited gifts. Aside from breaking several laws, it’s also deeply immoral. And if you insist on doing this, leave something nicer than a bottle of fucking Merlot.

‘Packaged in an elegant, masculine bottle that showcases its rich bright gold colour, this small batch sipping bourbon makes a great gift for whiskey lovers.’

Wild Turkey Longbranch Kentucky bourbon, Product description on Treasure Truck, Amazon

Thanks to Andy at @maltbox for finding this on Twatter. Proof that sexism takes many forms. As he rightly points out, why is a square bottle ‘masculine’? Would a conventional bottle be feminine? Or androgynous?

What would a gay bottle look like? Or a queer one? Are there bottles that were created masculine, but self-identify as feminine?

They might as well have put ‘Bourbon – a manly drink for straight men’ on the ad. A total, well, turkey.

There’s no video for this category because we didn’t want to be seen to trivialising the issue. Plus it would have required work. But you can read here about the winners in the They Said What? category, here for Fruit Salad winners, and go to the video page for our winners’ videos so far. Though if you’re not a supporter of ours on Patreon then you won’t be able to view them. So sign up. Then you can.

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