The Best Snarcasms of 2015
It’s that time again – time to ring in the new and wring out the old. That means it’s time for writers to wring every possible article out of their year’s work by assembling “Best Of” compilations. This is one of many time-honored literary traditions, like plagiarism and making shit up.
I’m probably not smart enough to critique writing but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. So I’ve compiled my own “Best Of” list, and for the record I unequivocally state that I am the sole judge of my work and I have not been unduly influenced by the author.
I did ask another writer to judge my work and she said, “I read some thoughtful, hilarious, and insightful articles, and then I found your website.” Hey, I’m totally open to criticism – as long as nobody tells me what’s wrong with my writing.
In my short stint as a blogger I’ve learned that writing about wine is pretty simple; all you need is a steady stream of similes, puns and dialysis treatments. In fact my “Best Of” list is nothing more than a collection of pithy similes, preposterous puns, and absurd second thoughts that are certain to have you groaning like your wisdom tooth is impacted (although the jokes are probably more painful).
Similes are crucial to successful wine writing and they have the added benefit of letting me make fun of celebrities. Imagine fine literature without similes, or picture descriptive journalism without those well-turned phrases that always contain the words “like” or “as”. Let’s face it; an article without similes is like.
Enough said, on with the list.
1. The earthy flavors cling to your palate like Saran Wrap in a room full of Pyrex.
2. The Syrah barrel sample was like Marilyn Manson’s garter belt – tight, leathery and had spent too much time near the bunghole.
3. When the jalapeño sauce is flowing, the cool embrace of a fruity wine keeps your taste buds partying like its 1969. If you’re too young to know what that means, try an off-dry Gewurztraminer with some extra spicy Buffalo wings and then drop some antacid.
4. A low acid, creamy-textured white may make a pleasing first impression, but without sufficient acidity it will soon seem as flat and cloying as Paris Hilton on Quaaludes.
5. This Oregon Pinot Blanc is as unbalanced as a bipolar postal worker.
6. This wine is as dark, round and smooth as Vin Diesel’s head but at least it has something going on beneath the surface.
7. Matching food and wine by similar weight and flavor characteristics is a long-standing sommelier practice, just like embarrassing customers and overcharging.
8. The tropical fruit flavors are as exotic as an Elton John headpiece and they too sit atop a round, flabby body.
9. Combine the flowery traits of Gewurztraminer, Riesling, or Viognier with the rustic, earthy tastes of a Thanksgiving feast and watch the flavors come out like Caitlyn Jenner in a Versace gown.
10. When spicy foods are combined with wine high in alcohol, the cumulative effect starts to build and the wine can turn as hot and bitter as a recently divorced Kardashian.
When I sit down to write the first thing I do is assemble my puns and pencils. Many consider puns nothing more than simple word pranks unsuited to serious writing but puns can be found in the works of the great masters of literature; William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Randall Grahm. In the past year I’ve quoted these masters 144 times, which some would consider a gross overcite.
Onword and Upword.
1. The sweetness hits your palate like a ton of brix.
2. No casual attire at my dinner table. No sir, even the greens are collard.
3. Speaking of dry, my Aunt Tootie insists on bringing the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. What that woman does to a turkey is criminal. She must cook it in a conviction oven.
4. I don’t have a clue what a website ranking algorithm does. It’s all geek to me.
5. Sexy wine reviews have been known to confuse and excite some winemakers, leading them to premature inoculation.
6. I worry that I might use too many accent marks in this blog, but then I realize I’m just being diacritical.
7. I follow Joel Stein on Twitter because I like the way he tweets me.
8. If your wine choice is notably lighter than your meal, it will seem insufficient and overmatched, You could end up with a fowl pairing if the hen is mightier than the poured.
9. Every year he bugs me to let him carve the turkey. He just won’t let up and I eventually give him the bird.
10. I know lots of women who will only drink Chardonnay. I guess you could say Chardonnay has broad appeal.
When I started writing a couple of years ago an acquaintance told me, “simply be yourself”. Of course he didn’t know me very well. When I’m being myself, I’ll often write a statement of fact and within nanoseconds some absurd snarky retort or addendum pops into my head. After ricocheting around the vast emptiness for a few more nanoseconds, the thought travels down to my fingertips and onto the written page.
1. In Cognac, the evaporation losses attributed to the “Angel’s Share” are estimated at over 20 million bottles a year, which explains why so many angels miss work on Monday.
2. In West Virginia it is illegal to give a minor liquor unless you are related by blood or marriage, or the more likely scenario – both.
3. Head pruning is an ancient, freestanding vineyard system, as well as a rite performed by a mohel on the eighth day.
4. Over 200 different esters can be produced through fermentation, which coincidentally are half as many Esters as can be found in the Minneapolis phone book.
5. The Jurassic era, as you’re probably aware, was a prehistoric time period named after a popular movie.
6. Shortly after WineSnark was named a WBA finalist for “Best Writing on a Wine Blog” it was reported that somewhere in Illinois a retired English teacher rolled over in her grave.
7. Bruce Guimaraens was the great, great grandson of Manoel Guimaraens, who founded Fonseca-Guimaraens in 1822. I probably think being a great, great grandson is a big deal because I was never a great, great grandson; I was just an average great grandson.
8. The sweet dessert wines from Sauternes pair beautifully with crème brûlée and insulin.
9. I enjoy watching Downton Abbey more than I like watching football because Lady Mary’s boudoir has seen more Bump and Run than the Dallas secondary.
10. Sulfites occur naturally in all wine because they are a byproduct of fermentation and are prevalent in and around vineyards and wineries, just like fruit flies, dot-com millionaires and other obnoxious pests.
Special Bonus Snark:
11. Among the most apt descriptors for umami are “savory, mouth-filling, brothy, meaty, satisfying, and rich” which is everything I’ve ever wanted in a spouse.
There you have it – obscene similes, pitiful puns, and psychotic second thoughts – I guess my work here is done. For more snarcasm visit last year’s Best Of WineSnark 2014 or for those of you who find typical wine reviews boring, check out The Wine Review Review for 30 wine descriptions you won’t find in The Wine Spectator.
Have a happy 2016 one and all.