One of my best friends is a wine snob who has spent the majority of her career selling, cataloging, drinking and writing about wine. I love to hear the words she uses to describe the stuff. First, there's the metaphor of an airplane--how the tannins, acid and body must balance to make it work right. Then there are the tantalizing descriptors such as "barnyard" and "wet dog."
We met up a few weekends ago, and since I would never attempt to meet her oenophilic standards, I brought beer. Specifically, I took a 4-pack wheat-beer sampler from Michelob Brewing Co., which included Hop Hound Amber Wheat, Honey Wheat, Dunkel Weisse and Shock Top Belgian White.
The 4-pack came with its own flight schedule--a mat with circles for each bottle, arranged in order of light to dark. Sampling the flight made for a fun group activity and would be a great ice-breaker at a party. Our foursome tasted each beer, brainstormed our impressions and then looked to see what the Michelob people said in the accompanying marketing materials.
Credit where credit is due to the copy-writing geniuses who can come up with a thousand ways to say "beer-flavored." For example, here's how they describe Michelob Dunkel Weisse: "An unfiltered dark wheat that boasts of clove and banana flavors layered over a malty body."
But none of those scribes can hold a candle to my winey friend, who took a sip, smacked her lips and said simply, "Smoked Hubba Bubba."
Smoked Hubba Bubba, indeed. It's not a description that would move a lot of product, but it sure is accurate. Then again, it could open the door to a whole new line of candy-flavored coolers. Lemonhead Lager? Starburst Stout? Airheads Ale?
Bartles? Jaymes? Are you listening?