Lie about it: 6 ways to tell a winemaker his wine really sucks

It’s not altogether easy to live in the today’s wine world for an honest person. One has to lie, deceive and be cunning. And sometimes even tell the truth – and nothing but the truth. Don’t object and don’t mislead yourselves, just remember the last time you told yourself after tasting a really bad wine: “it will be too bad to tell the truth”, “I don’t want to hurt him”, “ah, he/she’s such a nice person!”, “remember, he asked us to come visit the winery next year?”. And so on, and so forth. Lying is an essential skill when talking to a winemaker or a winery rep.

The problem is the balance. A smart person will probably have no difficulty telling you’re lying. While mother nature gave us this extremely useful ability to hide what we really think, it also endowed us with the ability to tell the lies of others. And still, the skill of “wine lying” is essential for any #winelover or wine professional – no matter how experience he or she is.

To lie or not to lie about a wine – that is the big question. And while you’re in the middle of reflecting on this, let me throw you a hint: not every winemakers or winery rep cares about what you really think. They’d lose their minds long ago if they did – just imagine the amount of consumers and drinkers they talk to every f*cking day! And yet, getting publicly slammed in the face with your honesty is not something any one of them likes, even if you’re a Tignanello producer.

The amazing thing is when they go asking for it. Those are the most painful situations when winemakers or chateau owners look in your eyes, knowing they made not their best wine and still asking if you liked it, implying you’ll certainly be plite enough and praise the damn thing. You have to think twice before replying: saying the truth to people who doesn’t like to hear it has its consequences. You might easily be banned or blacklisted from a renowned winery for doing these things, no matter what. Well, not if you’re Robert Parker, but all the others are subject to such possible outcomes.

Not lying may sometimes result in anger, misunderstanding, rage and disappointment. Be prepared, say I.

We are all humans. And it’s important to keep friendly relations and connections to winemakers who are our friends and mostly do a hell of a job out there. It also depends on how close you are and how long you know each other. There are people out there ready to hear the truth. Not least, because in wine there are so many of them – all of us will probably give a different opinion about one single wine.

And still, you will agree: there are situations when it’s better not to tell the truth. And for these moments I have several words to keep you going without offending winemakers and winery representatives:


Interesting wine

This is a killer, a heavyweight among the lies that excuses you of anything you are going to say after that. On the one hand it will show a clever winemaker you really have nothing good to say about this wine. For all the other it will give a good reason to believe you liked it or, ay least, didn’t dislike.

It is essential, though, to put on a correspondent face expression when saying this – it’s better to silently observe the wine and meditate over a glass with your nose inside it. Close your eyes. Any winemaker will feel polite enough not to disturb you at this important moment of your life. Then, spit it fast and go to the next one. No questions – interesting wine.


Have you already submitted this one to Parker?

Be careful using that one. Clever winemakers will see you’re lying or being sarcastic. In fact, you have to believe this wine has to be sent to Parker and will definitely obtain a high score before you even say that. Believing your own lies is one thing that makes others believe it too. You also have to be aware that some winemakers hate Parker scores: a) when they don’t really like to score wines in general b) when they know their wines will never get a decent one. Try to know this piece of info well before opening your mouth.


What other wines are in this line?

A bit straightforward, but on the other hand you’re showing that you value your time and tasting fast and professionally. No questions will be aired at this moment for sure.


Sorry, personally I cannot take high acidity (sugar, mineral tone, etc.) like this

Blame it all on your poor health. You can hardly drink dry wines, red wines, sweet wines and acidic wines too. The winemaker’s compassion is on your side and it’s a real victory. Maybe one of the strongest phrases in your dictionary. Use wisely, you don’t want to be called a liar too soon.


What kind of terroir is that?

You rate this wine highly enough if you’re suggesting it comes from a terroir. Of course this cheap plonk you’re possibly drinking has no any terroir nearby 20 miles, still this can blindfold the winemakers. Be careful – since you’ve just admitted the wine is so great they might want to pour you more of that.


Do you have agriturismo?

It’s as simple as effective. If you’re asking about agriturismo – you might be considering visiting the winery. If you’re considering this chances are high you liked the wines a whole lot! Voila!