In vino verbiage: the language of wine

I’ve always been amused by the language of wine. Many reviewers pile adjectives on top of one another with repetitive monotony. This might be due to the professional necessity of writing while tipsy (despite claims to spit and not swallow.)

Cherries Jon BonnĂ© and Lynne Char Bennett’s list of 100 Best Wines in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle, modifies ‘cherry’ in no less than 17 different ways when describing red wine:

…red cherry, crushed raspberry and spice…
…vibrant cherry, plum and berry fruit that’s laced with subtle sweet oak shadings…
…toasted cherry and a leafy hint…
…musky red fruit – strawberry, dusty cherry…
…baked cherry and raspberry…
…radiant red cherry, highlighted with cranberry, candied orange rind, oregano and fir cone…
…bright with thick cherry and citrus zest…
…ripe black cherry and subtle plum, with a mineral overlay and a juicy, salty profile…
…cherry, blackberry and cedar…
…rich pile of black cherry, nuanced raspberry and blackberry, coffee, toast and a full box of exotic spices…
…dried cherry and oolong…
…dried cherry, pebbles and black tea aromas…
…coffee, vanilla, mint and plush back [sic] cherry…
…rubyish cherry and cranberry fruit…
…roasted red cherry, warm oak to round the edges…
…tree bark and cherry lozenge…
…raspberry and cherry scents, with slight mushroom and mineral…

Ray Davies was right on the money back in 1970:

I met her in a club down in old Soho
Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola
Cee-oh-el-aye cola
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
El-oh-el-aye Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Lola – The Kinks

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