A (non) serious guide to difficult wine questions

In wine, there are sometimes some difficult questions asked.  This guide may assist with answering very few of them.

1. Is your vineyard organic/biodynamic?

Suggested responses:

Yes, except when we have a problem in the vineyard or it rains or it is sunny.  Which really means no.  Yes means no, you see?  Yes.

Yes, the vineyard is currently cared for by bilbys.

Yes, we do not employ vineyard management.  Our vines grow in trees as nature intended and/or as the moratorium agreement with our creditors permits.

Yes, those "roundup" containers you see in the corner are legacy containers and part of our commitment to recycling.  Nothing to see here.

2. We noticed that there was lot of rain during harvest this year?

Suggested responses:

We picked just before the rain.  You ask how we manage to do this every year?  Well mostly of course we don't in fact do this, but the weather app has helped.

Rain is part of the terroir of this region.  (If this works, offer the apera for tasting).

Wine is all about vintage variation and terroir, and therefore doesn't need to taste good.

It doesn't matter as our reverse osmosis machine is great.  (This may confront the demographic who are receptive to the previous answer, which is sort of funny, because arguably if people don't wish for wine to taste good, they could be offered up part of the tasting bench to chew on which may reduce costs.)

3. The alcohol levels of your wines seem to have been increasing?

Suggested responses:

It is due to better vineyard management.  (This may in fact be true, although all that longer grape hang time, deliberate stylistic choice and your wine being 12% abv in 1995 rather than used to top up Cognac might be omitted to avoid confusion.)

Alcohol is part of our terroir. 

Big wines win wine shows, except in the prior notified cycle of 6-8 years when cooler climate styles will win.

Although last sighted in Australia circa 2001, we are hoping that Robert Parker is still following Australian wine.

Our reverse osmosis machine actually does quite a lot of things.  You won't notice it a bit once we're done.

4. Do you flavour your wine with oak chips?

Suggested responses:

The word "chip" is ambiguous.  Oak is cut from trees, which might be described by some as chipping at the tree.

Yes, but labelling laws don't require us to tell you this, so really yes means no.  Certainly in this case.  

5. Your vineyard seems to be planted in an unlikely region.

Suggested responses:

We make artisanal wine.

It is our response to global warming.  The tropics are already warm?  Our strategy is anticipatory.

We are on a voyage of terroir discovery.  After much consideration, we have formed the view that our land suits sheep.  And weddings.  And in New Zealand, both.

6. Your wine seems to be a bit average this year.

Suggested responses:

We have included the words "premium", "boutique" and "reserve" on our label thus emphasising innate quality.  This gives our labels a point of difference as few other wineries are doing this.

It is due to terroir.  (Take care though not to allow the quite plausible link to be drawn that your terroir in fact, therefore, produces average wine.)

The terroir driven sheep ate our good grapes.

Humour is intended, albeit implausible.
Wine Thoughts
December 12, 2012

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