Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2 stomach pumps please

So Tyler and I had the worst wine of all time this weekend. I emailed the company and thought I would share here too... Mostly because the email couldn't include as many photos as I wanted. So here it is, the fully loaded letter to the winery:
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To Whom It May Concern,
This weekend, my boyfriend and I opened up a bottle we were given of your "vintage 1977 merlot" by his Grandfather. Though it was a thoughtful gift, perhaps next time you could sell him a turd in a box instead? I would prefer that. Why you ask? Well, let me tell you about our horrible wine experience turned experiment.

We first noticed the off-color of the wine. Last I checked, Merlot was a nice deep red wine. This bottle however, was the deepest of reds on bottom and the clearest white wine color on top. Oh, and also there were chunks. Chunks floating around in the wine.
When opening the bottle, we noticed the cork was dark, moist and sunken down, leaving a nice, rancid smelling residue.

The cork came out in two large chunks, and about a million smaller pieces.

The first glass we pored was honey colored and smelled like spoiled hazelnut death. Always the adventurer, my boyfriend Tyler reluctantly took the first sip and- BAM! Immediate regret. I, not quite as brave, just dipped the tip of my tongue in the glass and immediately began dry heaving.
Oh. My. God. It was terrible.
Thinking maybe it just settled (you know, because most wines do that?) we shook it up and poured another-slightly darker, honey colored glass of wine. Guess what?! This one was somehow even worse. I didn't even have to taste it before I started gagging! The smell was more than enough to keep someone from wanting to drink that wine... But we did it anyway. You only live once right?

Bad idea. More heaving. Lots and lots of heaving. Then, curious as to what was causing the gritty residue we both noticed was lingering in our mouths and sticking to the sides of the glasses...

we taped a coffee filter to a pint glass and filtered a nice drink.

By now this had gone from refreshing beverage to science experiment. All we were missing were lab coats. We set up a second filtered glass to see what was going on at the bottom of the bottle and holy crap, it was once again even worse!
Oh my god, you should be ashamed at what we found. There was enough of what we can only assume was residue from the cork committing suicide, that the filters were brown and cloggy. It looked like we made coffee out of dirt and waste!

Oh, and we solved the mystery of the grit. THERE WERE HUGE CHUNKS OF ROTTEN CORK(?) IN THERE! I drank that dammit! You better hope we don't end up with any worms or the plague or some rare and terrible virus or illness from that! Ugh, it makes me want to throw up just thinking about how bad this was.

Barf and barf.
So here is my suggestion- stop making such awful wine! Blech! This stuff was nasty! I'm no wine expert- more like a wine-o, but regardless I have drank more than my fair share of wines in my day and I cannot think of any person who would want to ingest this god-awful product you made. I hope for your sake that this was just a one- time- deal and there aren't more bottle of this out there. Times are tough man, not everyone can go out using up all their coffee filters to see what dangers are lurking in their wine bottles!
And also, since this was ingested into mine and Tyler's bodies:

Please pay for our stomach pumping, because that is not something I think my body will be happy about processing. Oh, and I would also like 2 coffee filters. We certainly will not be drinking another bottle of your sabotaged wine any time soon. Better luck next time.

Christine Baker

Maybe you just forgot what merlot should look like? Don't worry, we had another bottle on hand. You guess which is which!


  1. You are HILARIOUS! People just roll their eyes at me when I tell them I sent in a complaint letter. But you've inspired me. I never thought to include pictures to help provide a play by play account of my miserable experience. Awesome!

  2. First, thanks for the great laugh I had about this at work today. (And by great laugh I mean some of my co-workers had to come check on me to make sure I wasn't seizing.)

    Second, thought I'd identify some of the problems of this bottle, so you'd know what to look out for next time.

    Problem 1: Probably had a little bit of cork rot. This happens when a wine is not stored properly or stored in an area with too much humidity.
    Problem 2: Old wines should always be decanted. That's how you get those yucky solids out of a bottle. (They're mostly dead yeast, solidified chemicals from the skins or left over barrel matter, sometimes some cork particles.)
    Problem 3: Chateau ste michelle isn't really a type of wine that can hold up to 40 years of cellaring. It's a wine best had two or three years in. I recommend drinking it on the way home from the liquor store or as soon as you get home.
    Problem 4: If you even encounter a wine that has discolored and separated as much as that one, do yourself a favor and just throw it out. The wine's no good, it's really a glorified putrid vinegar at that point.


  3. thank you so much, I have not laughed so hard in a long long time.