We had some very fine answers in our competition to find the perfect collective noun for a group of wine bores. You might recall that the best my confreres and I could come up with during the wine bores’ dinner that kicked off the initial discussion [see: Struggling to serve wine in the right order] was a ‘bunch’, a ‘pontification’ or a ‘slurring’ of wine bores. Readers more than outdid us.
My fellow judge, James Simpson MW, the managing director of Pol Roger (UK), and I had a merry chortle going through the answers although I have to say that some of the ruder ones (not for repetition in a family publication such as this) did rather cut to the quick. Surely no wine bore is that boring?
Six readers suggested a ‘berry’ of wine bores (droll but a bit obvious); four a ‘bevy’ (far too flattering and more suited to describe folk a touch more lissom and fragrant); four a ‘snore’ (we rather liked that); four a ‘sediment’ (that too); four a ‘plonker’ or ‘plonk’ (we didn’t like those two at all); two a ‘bloat’ (nor that one); two a ‘dreg’ (quite funny); two a ‘bouquet’ (liked that one a lot); two a ‘spittoon’ (nice) and two a ‘sozzle’ (hmm).
Among our favourite single entries were: a ‘case’ of wine bores, a ‘skinful’, a ‘fermentation’ and a ‘barrique’. We took a ‘tedium’ of wine bores a little too personally, as we did a ‘crust’, a ‘verboseness’, a ‘bilge’ and a ‘whinny’ (although James and I applauded the excellent alliteration in this last one).
After much discussion over a bottle of unparalleled Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV, a ‘sniff’, a ‘corkage’, a ‘hint’ and a ‘gargle’ emerged as the top four. After further debate James and I narrowed it down to a ‘sniff’ of wine bores and a ‘gargle’ of wine bores and, with not even a sheet of bronco between them and neither of us giving way, we had no option but to declare a dead heat. We are both delighted, therefore, to announce that ‘sniff’ (nicely double-edged: ‘sniff’ as in sniffing a wine glass and ‘sniff’ as in being pompous and snooty) and ‘gargle’ (very clever, almost a gaggle) are the joint winners. And, now I think about it, wouldn’t Sniff & Gargle be just the perfect name for a wine merchant?
One bottle of Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV will shortly be fizzing its way over to Jonathan Poulton (‘sniff’) and another to Lynn Treanor (‘gargle’).