Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Enjoyability Scale: My alternative to the 100 points system

Mind blower (English) or Hallucinant (French)
The sort of wine you should drink on your eighth wedding anniversary and beyond (the successful passing of the seven-year itch justifies the best wine), or at home/out for dinner with your best, most wine-appreciative family and friends, or on your kids’ twenty-first birthdays to celebrate the end of school fees and the dawn of self-sufficient (hopefully) progeny.
Mind Blowers aren't just about the wine – they are about the whole context of food, wine, friends and situation. They should set your heart racing in years to come when you recall them from memory, so enjoyable and special were the wine, food and company. It doesn't matter whether each individual component was perfect or not – the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.
Cracker or Épatant
The sort of wine you should drink on each wedding anniversary up to and including your seventh, or drink at home/out for dinner with your best, but ever so slightly less wine-appreciative family and friends, or drink on your kids’ eighteenth birthdays. It isn’t just about the wine either – it’s about the whole context of food, wine, friends and situation too. Compared to Mind Blowers, these are only one notch down.
Tidy or Correct
This is a dependable wine, which won’t let you down and which is good enough to take to friends’ dinner parties. If the food is crap, you won’t feel it is wasted, but if the food is good, it won’t let you down either. It is a good wine for Sunday lunch with the parents and in-laws because they can’t tell the difference between a Mind Blower, Cracker or Tidy wine so it will probably exceed their expectations.
The whole experience should be thoroughly enjoyable, spent with family and friends, but one of the many memories you will recall like this so it won’t be a stand out event. The use of the descriptors Tidy and Cracker will please my Celtic friends, especially those from Mumbles.
Glugger or Å Picoler
This is wine for the BBQ or lunch or dinner. You won’t feel queasy about letting your friends drink litres of it. In fact, you will actively encourage them in order to facilitate the stock turn and create space for more purchases. Quality isn't on the agenda, just quantity, so you probably won’t remember these wines. If you do, then just upgrade them to Tidy.
Belly wash or Pinard
Drunk on nights out with mates who prefer lager and who don't know their Mouton Cadet from their Mutton Cassoulet. This is likely to be industrial wine so watch out for the hangovers. Probably better to forget these - the wine, food and company.
Chateau de Coq-Rot
Put in your vinaigrette or heat to 100 degrees before use in cooking or give away to kids' most unpopular school teachers at Christmas.

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