An article first published in the Gaudie. I am not as alcoholically-minded as this would have you believe!
I, Dear Reader, am the Heckler. I live an exotic life filled with glamour and excitement – and then I wake up and realise that I’m still a student. This means I am impoverished, permanently facing deadlines and living beyond my means, which consist of an overdraft. It also means that I spend some of my non-existent money on alcohol.
Spirits are easy to get the hang of, and so are lagers and ales, but the terminology on the backs of wine bottles is almost incomprehensible. So, in the knowledge that this is an area in which the benefits of my experience may actually be beneficial, I offer you my wisdom.
The only wine you are likely to be offered at a Klan meeting. Nick Griffin’s personal favourite.
The colour the Klan chief will go when you ask him why he holds his meetings at an accident black spot.
An indecisive wine for indecisive people, I think.
One glass will have you flat on your back singing “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.”
Uncorking the bottle will have you flat on your back singing “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.”
This smells odd and we don’t know why.
FINELY NUANCED AROMA
This smells odd and we think we do know why.
The perfect gift for your mother-in-law. Best served on chips.
Best offered to a loved one only if concealed within a huge bunch of flowers.
CHEAP AND CHEERFUL
Part A is absolutely true. Part B is woefully inaccurate.
SUBTLE HINTS OF…
A vineyard worker dropped his packed lunch into the vat and we were unable to recover it before it contaminated everything.
ENJOY WITH FRIENDS
You will shortly require a support network.
NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED
We are defending the indefensible.
May develop complex bacteriological cultures or, in extreme cases, explode, at room temperature.
BEST SERVED WITH RED MEAT, WHITE MEAT, SEAFOOD OR PASTA DISHES
Anything to distract from the actual taste of the wine.
Don’t blame us, you raving alcoholic.
A STRONG INFUSION OF…
Don’t say we didn’t try to warn you.
A WONDERFUL NOSE
A working sense of smell may be an active disadvantage in appreciating this wine.
You cannot afford this bottle.
Suitable for consumption in a certain type of bar.
RICH AND FRUITY
Suitable for consumption by Peter Mandelson.
This wine’s active ingredient is tallow.
You are not the sort of person who can get away with drinking this wine. This wine is reserved exclusively for ambassadorial receptions, and is best served alongside a mountainous platter of Ferrero Roche.
Absolutely chock-full of bosk.
You will be if you keep drinking this stuff.
A suitable wine for the fifth bottle of the evening – that point when corkscrews can unexpectedly turn on you and become utterly lethal instruments.
See ‘Subtle Hints Of…’, above.
This bottle is in fact empty.
This bottle is not only empty but has been buried in the Sahara for the last seventy years.
This bottle is still damp to the touch, but what remains is only drinkable if you have the moisture-gathering abilities of a cactus.
Your language and your jokes will be if you keep drinking it at this rate.
A wine almost irretrievably sullied through giving its name to a character on Footballers’ Wives.
We’d forgotten all about these old, sub-standard barrels, enabling us to market them for a king’s ransom.
Aged beyond its years with a timely infusion of anti-freeze.
A WELL-KEPT SECRET
Everyone’s agreed: this wine is almost irredeemably hideous. Its one potential saving grace is that it is really excellent for cleaning silverware.
…WITH REAL CLASS…
If you have seen this wine being drunk on a council estate at any time, we want to know about it.
14.5% alcohol. Let the good times roll.
20% alcohol or better. Happy days are here again.