We all know of course what the best wine of all time is. That would be the 1811 Chateau d'Yquem which was awarded 100 points by both Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator (note: there was no such consensus on the 1847)
How can I say this with such confidence? It may have to do with the fact that virtually everyone reading this article won't have even a fighting chance of ever trying the 1811 d'Yquem.
OK, now that we have the best we now need the worst to neatly book-end every other single wine on earth. The problem is that it's not so easy. Parker and the Spec. don't publish such lists probably for obvious reasons such as legal implications. That's where the power of wine blogging comes in. No we're not wimps around here. No sir-ree Bob! Still, how do we come up with such a list? Through tasting? Uh-oh, perhaps we are wimps after all!
I decided instead to google, yahoo, etc. “the worst wine ever” to see what I could come up with. No consensus emerged. Far from it, I found a vast and varied world of plonk and people writing about it. From this these fairly dubious and possibly drunk sources I've assembled a list of “the worst wines ever” and present it as an online poll to the readers of this blog to settle this matter once and for all.
Please note that my legal department wants me to point out the none of the wines in this list are my own choices, but are simply plucked from the above mentioned sources. To be fair, there may be a few that made the list simply because the particular bottle tasted was corked or otherwise off. Also, let's not forget that one person's Thunderbird is another person's d'Yquem. OK, maybe that's a bit too generous.
In a way this vinous hodge-podge that reminds me of a list from a ‘certain Chinese encyclopedia’ mentioned in the preface of Foucault's The Order of Things: ‘animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame,(d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (1) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies’. (Aside: quoting Foucault? Have I really become a pompous wine sipping twit? Chorus: Yes! Shut up!) But I digress. Without further ado, the
POLL: Editor's note 5 May 2011: The original poll data was sadly lost in a upgrade. Please enter your choice again so that we can reinstate our important work.
Resources: Wine Searcher's Recommended Wines Bum Wine
Though I consider myself very lucky that the number of wines I’ve had that were only fit for cleaning local sewer systems is still (surprisingly) limited, there are three in particular that come to mind. One was, unfortunately, my very first attempt at winemaking several years ago, and I managed to both oxidise and madeirise it, and considering it was supposed to be a dry red wine, I’d put it down as a disappointing (rather than glorious) failure. The second was a friend’s attempt at winemaking, and she added so much sulphur, if the wine were accidentally spilt onto sandpaper, it likely would have started a fire. The last was a cheap commercially sold sparkling wine from Canada that will remain nameless for legal reasons that someone had bought for mimosas. As someone interested in assessing wines, I tried it first plain. The combination of sickly sweetness and flavour like second-time-around asparagus and green pepper was terrible. Unfortunately for me, no amount of orange juice could make the flavour go away the rest of the day.