News Satire People Food Other


By Dan Hutton on November 16, 2016 in Food

Wine wankers at work.

Wine wankers at work.

Now, before we start I should let you know that I love wine. Unlike beer, it doesn’t blow you up like a pregnant balloon, and unlike spirits, an overdose of Merlot probably won’t make you bite a policeman or try to climb the sails of the Opera House. Good wine is wonderful, and it makes sense to pay a bit of attention to the wines that make you go yum, and avoid the ones that fill your mouth with the taste of cheesy battery fluid and give you hiccups for a week. I get that, but the problem is that some people take it all too far. Here are some clues to help you identify if you, your partner or your besties are leaning towards wine wankery…

1. Keeping a wine diary – While this makes sense on many levels, it really shouldn’t be encouraged. It starts simply enough: you have a nice wine and jot down the name so you can buy it again. Unfortunately this can get out of hand and lead to some serious wankery. A friend of mine started out making notes on his favourite wines and within two months he was reading us out extracts: “‘The Jolly Dog’, bought from Dan Murphy’s on October 21, 2015. A witty combination of Merlot and cheeky Grenache, with just a hint of Shiraz for sarcasm. Well priced at $170 the half bottle. Will cellar well for 5 but no more than 6 weeks. Serve with swan rissoles, Guatemalan brie or Cheetos.”

2. Judging a wine by its price – Not a lot of people know this, but it’s true: wine is not nice just because it is expensive. I’ve had some horrible expensive wines. Likewise, cheap wine is not necessarily rubbish. I gave a wine-wanky friend a beautiful glass of Cab Sav from a bottle that cost under $5. He loved it… until I told him the price. Don’t believe the hype.

3. Exhibiting xenophobia
 – I grant you, Icelandic wine is probably rubbish because it’s freezing cold there most of the time. Likewise Thai wine is really only good for cleaning windows. But if the region is right, good wine can be grown in all kinds of places. If you declare that you will only drink New Zealand whites or Chilean reds, you sound like a five-year-old who will only drink Fanta. Stop it.

4. Grape racism
- This goes hand-in hand with the xenophobia, but with a little more reasoning behind it. I have never ever drunk a Chardonnay and enjoyed it, and all Rieslings taste like nanna perfume to me, but I gave both grapes a fair go before deciding that I didn’t like them. Keep on trying new things and don’t be like the couple I overheard at the Italian restaurant who ordered beer just because all the wines on the menu were made from unfamiliar Italian grape varieties. Boring!

Finally, the Unreliable Guide suggests that you remember the whole point of wine – it’s a tasty drink that gets you a bit pissed. That’s it, end of conversation.