Madazine
Chapter 21

The piece below was posted to us by a man who asks us not to reveal his name or address. Editor

From Two Cellars

I make my own wine, not because of any enjoyment this entails – it is rather tiresome – but on account of the fact that I am too cheap to buy the commercial stuff. In the course of oenological dabbling, I chummed up with a fellow who is also an amateur winemaker. The difference between us is that I make my plonk from any fresh fruit I can get, while he goes to great lengths to acquire specific grapes from various regions, labelling his products accordingly. We recently discussed our efforts, concluding that it would be interesting to call upon the services of a mutual acquaintance, who fancies himself as a connoisseur, the idea being that he should assess our respective outputs. Here is what he said:

Weitsteiner Kalbspinkel. (My friend’s.) Insipid is the word. I had expected something more incisive from a pressing which has, basically, Rhineland provenance. This flutters ineffectually around the palate, settling nowhere. Many German wines are produced from slaty soil and frankly, in this case I would have preferred to bite off a chunk from a Welsh quarry. By the way, Kalbspinkel means calf-pee – and Weitstein is not in my atlas.

Pear and rhubarb. (Mine.) Bowels in a bottle! I don’t wish to be indelicate, but the word ‘sewage’ comes to mind. Let me not dwell upon how the by-tastes of sulphur and ammonia were achieved. This beverage might have been less malignant had the perpetrator used overripe pears and natural, unforced West Yorkshire rhubarb. Clearly he didn’t, the result being that the kindest thing to say is ‘Ugh’.

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