Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wine Snob In Training.

Two things I really enjoy are supporting local businesses and drinking delicious wine. Lucky for me I live around Southeastern Pennsylvania, which has been emerging as an influential wine producing region I once read was comparable to the Napa Valley in the 70's. (Locals, check out the Pennsylvania Wine Website for more details!)

One thing I do not understand though, is that Clover Hill, the bigshot winery around here with six(!) retail locations, really, uh.. how should I put this? I don't know, what's the wine connoisseur's term for "totally sucks ass?"

A little while back I met up with good friend Constance at the local-ish shopping mall conglomerate to do some eating, drinking and perusing of expensive shoes/clothing. After lunch and knocking back a few pinot grigios, I suggested that we head down to the Clover Hill location in the mall to do some "wine tasting," (AKA add kindling to our buzzes.) I did warn her, however, that this wine was nothing to write home about and the unfortunate consequence of tasting unsavory wine was that you then felt pressured to buy something.

We headed over anyway. The grump at the tasting counter regarded us suspiciously, and snottily informed us that we could only taste six varieties. I don't know what could have ever possessed him to treat us that way. Certainly not because we already had booze waifting from our breath... No, probably because he's just got a stick up his ass because he works at a shitty mall winery. As we tasted the first wine, something dry and white, I looked at Constance and she made a face like she just taken a sip of motor oil. After trying six different wines we decided to buy the least grossest one (which also happened to come in a 375ml size bottle) but the attendant became involved with another customer, so we took the advantage to scurry out of the store. It made me feel like being a kid, when I'd go to the grocery store and stuff my face with candy from the serve serve bins and then bust ass to freedom before I got caught.

A few weeks later I happened to be wine trailing with my sister Beth and a few friends, and we passed by another Clover Hill location which happened to be only a mile from our destination winery. Of course everyone wanted to go to this one as well, and even though I warned of the craptasticness, ultimately the logic of "because we're right here..." won over.

It was a Saturday and the winery was packed full of yuppies, and even some yuppie children. Wouldn't you assume that a house of alcohol would be one place you'd be safe from obnoxious children? Oh, and stupid yuppies, this wine sucks. I bet most yuppies wouldn't know good wine if somebody bashed a bottle of it over their stupid yuppie heads.

I had warned Beth about the whole pressure-to-purchase predicament and although she has responded with "I'm sure I can find something that's not horrible" about 3 tastes into our visit she retracted with "I'm not buying any of this shit." She had a similar disgusted reaction to Constance's when tasting the wine and said, "God. It even smells horrible. But we just kept knocking them back anyway since we were already semi-buzzed from the last winery. (For some reason everytime I go to a Clover Hill it ends up playing out like that scene in Sideways.) We did end up buying some wine crackers though, and they were pretty good.

Overal Score: Clover Hill Winery; 1 out of 5 grapes. Or, "Slightly better than Bum Wine"


loveyouintheface said...

"Are you chewing gum?!"

I recall being slightly miffed by the grumpy pants at the counter and that one of the wines we tried tasted suspiciously like melted crisco. After that it's kind of fuzzy;)

good times!

Beth said...

i've vomited up things that taste better than that wine. and the experience was only enhanced by the snotfaced child behind me using the wine counter as a jungle gym...

aejr said...

you're not a wine snob stace... you rock the hardys... and while that qualifies as good cheap wine, it's not like written up in any books... this stuff must really be bad. like worse than the franzia chillable red nikki nice used to carry around?

litelysalted said...

It's totally worse than Chillable Red. If given a choice I would reach for the Franzia every time. Chillable Red had a not entirelly unpleasant Kool-Aid flavor. Sweeter Clover Hill wines taste like cough syrup and drier varieties taste bitter and chemical.

April said...

Lake Cayuga in the Finger Lakes region of New York has some of the finest vineyards. Check it out sometime; I love visiting there on a weekend getaway.