Read All About It

I read about wine all of the time. I do ‘get it’ that most people want to drink wine and not read about it at all. BUT when they do get to read a bit about wine wouldn’t it be nice to know that what you are reading is something more than just random opinion, old and out of date cliches or just error riddled pieces of nonsense? Of course it would.

Selbach Riesling Incline
Incline from O’Briens.

How about this gem from one of our leading weekend reads – before I go further I need to emphasise that I’m not knocking columnists per se. Oh, and I also need to say that I’m not pretending to be ‘holier than thou’ either!! It’s just a case of being annoyed when I see wine being treated flippantly in a way that most editors wouldn’t like food or cars or books, or indeed most things, to be treated.

German wine can be a bit tricky to get hold of in Ireland‘. Odd thing to say when O’Brien’s are easily found and carry excellent wines from Germany at very affordable prices. Besides Aldi and Lidl clearly wouldn’t pull their shutters up without waving their own flags. In fact, many independents make an issue out of the fact that they do carry exclusive German offerings. Just because the Irish don’t buy them doesn’t mean they’re not on sale. They are!

The same piece:  The anti-freeze scandal of the 1980’s did not help matters. This is a shame because good whites made from grapes such as Riesling or Muller Thurgau tend to be exquisite …

Groan. Are we still trotting out the Austrian di-ethlyene glycol (it never was anti freeze..) scandal in an attempt to explain sales of German wine. Even the Austrians have moved on! Show me an exquisite Muller Thurgau. Please. I’m always on the look out for something new and wonderful. So far these have been anything but Muller Thurgau.. The quotes from this column goes on and on. My favourite is that if I want to find quality I should as, ‘As a very basic rule, look out for the word Auslese on the label …which signifies reasonable quality..’ This is so basically wrong I’m not even going to explain it.


I find poor and badly researched wine writing all over the wine trade. A restaurant list last week told me that me that the Bierzo I was about to try from was a, ‘Surprisingly complex young wine from Mencia grapes‘. Surprising to whom? Hardly the poor fool reading the list! Presumably to the person writing the list then. Right. So he/she doesn’t know their wine either. Wine Speak needs to be understandable. If its not then it is of no use to anyone at all!

I don’t mind typos. They happen. I don’t mind exaggerated descriptions. They make it fun. I don’t mind honesty naively expressed. Honesty is always welcome. What I do mind is pretentious twaddling masquerading as informed opinion. Its neither needed nor necessary. Two simple words will always be easier to read, to understand and to remember than a paragraph of poor fitting words.

How about the supermarket last year that brought us wines from Alsace and Bordeaux in its Mediterranean Wine Sale … that’s just plain funny.

 If you find straying …. let us know. If you find others have already. Let us know all about that as well. After all we do want you to Read All About It. That’s what is all about. A good Read.


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