Winespeak: a vinous thesaurus of (gasp!) 36,975 bizarre, erotic, funny, outrageous, poetic, silly and ugly wine tasting descriptors (September 10, 2009)
by Dean Tudor, www.deantudor.com
Winespeak: a vinous thesaurus of (gasp!) 36,975 bizarre, erotic,
funny, outrageous, poetic, silly and ugly wine tasting descriptors (WineSpeak Press, 2009; distr. Wine Appreciation Guild, 346 pages, ISBN
978-0-9800648-0-3, $29.95 US paper covers) has been compiled by Bernard
Klem. For eight years, Klem has collated wine
tasting terms from real wine reviews in English. I'm there. So is
Richard Best from Oakville.
Terms are organized in 27 different
categories of appearance (clarity, colour, and age), smell and taste
(17 here), balance, complexity, typicity, and finish. There are another
20 categories of special collections, such as a series of words
describing terroir, chocolate, and minerals – rocks (have we ever sucked
rocks?). My fave from these last categories is the description "California Chardonnay is like giving Pinocchio a blow job." Near
misses to "health hazard," "can be cellared for up to 10,000 years,"
and "mutt of the blend."
This may be a fun book, but it is also a
serious book: people actually wrote these words. Klem is hard at work
on a second edition, and maybe he'll propose some Parker numbers for
Audience and level of use: Wine freaks and completists, new wine
writers looking to expand their vocabulary.
Some interesting or unusual facts: None of this was made up.
The downside to this book: He misses a few Internet phrase generators
such as the Silly Tasting Note Generator. Also, he misstated my first
name as "Anthony" (Anthony Tudor was a ballet choreographer), although
my website is correct and so is "Tudor's Faint Praise Index."
The upside to this book: Whew, what a collection, very complete. There
should be no complaints. Just memorize everything.
Quality/Price Rating: 91.