Two Masters of Wine were left red-faced this morning after failing to tell the difference between tap water and Pinot Grigio on breakfast television.
The pair were appearing on the ‘Robert And Jamie’s Drive-By Shouting’ programme in celebration of International Pinot Grigio day – an occasion that any sensible people are completely ignoring .
After explaining the variety’s utterly disinteresting heritage, puzzling rise to success and non-existent flavour profile, they were given three ‘wines’ to try.
But while the first two were Pinot Grigios from Chile and Italy, the third was a glass of tap water.
Embarrassingly, the pair picked it out as the best of the three, with Martin Tedious MW describing it to 3m viewers as ‘a brilliant example of Pinot Grigio – fresh, clean, crisp and just so darn quaffable!’
Allegra Pedant MW agreed, saying it ‘blew away’ the other two and she’d be ‘rushing down to her local Pricefixer supermarket to buy a bottle’ as soon as she found out what it was.
‘It’s very embarrassing,’ said Tedious. ‘But I guess it’s one of those things that go with the territory of being a revered taster with decades of experience. Like yelling unreasonably at PRs or gaslighting women.’
In his defence, Tedious said that Pinot Grigio and water can be ‘really difficult to tell apart; just like Merlot and Cabernet or Californian Chardonnay and the syrup from Del Monte peach halves.’
Whoops we did it again
Pinot Grigio has a long and chequered history with H2O. In 2006 a dozen Italian wineries were caught diluting their PGs with 90% water. They were jailed for five years and banned from making Pinot Grigio again after ‘fundamentally altering the character of the variety.
‘Though admittedly not by much.’
Ten years later a flight of ‘Pinot Grigios’ at the Decanter World Wine Awards turned out to be bottles of Evian which had been bagged up by mistake.
The 17 ‘wines’ got one Gold, two Silvers, three Bronzes, four ‘Highly Commended’s, six ‘Nice Try’s and a Trophy.
International Grigio Day
International Pinot Grigio day is part of an increasingly tedious trend to give every single item on the planet its own dedicated 24 hours of pointless and easily-ignorable PR, and May 17th is particularly busy.
Pinot Grigio will have to fight for the world’s attention with International Dog Turd Day, Gazebo Appreciation Monday and Whelk Week. But PG Day organiser Blandina Glass says she has several exciting activities which will ‘capture the essence of the grape and help the wine stand out even more than it usually does. Which is to say not at all.’
These include a ‘Pinot Grigio and watching paint dry’ tasting; a ‘Joe Biden reads out his favourite PG tasting notes’ podcast, and a 2000 word ‘Decanter bore-athon special’ looking at the grape’s history, genetic make-up and fermentation quirks, written by a congenitally unreadable MW.
‘It’s important in these difficult times when people feel depressed and apathetic that wine can offer a way out,’ said Glass.
‘Or, in the case of Pinot Grigio, mirror the national mood exactly.’
One person who won’t be celebrating, however, will be Martin Tedious MW.
‘I’m going to immerse myself in my “Giant Master of Wine book of Boring Facts” for 24 hours because I’ve been a bad MW and must be punished,’ he told Fake Booze.
‘I mean, I should have spotted that third glass wasn’t a proper Pinot Grigio.
‘It had way too much character.’