Forget numbers—you need words to really rate a wine. But how many words? Andrew Barrow, who blogs at Spittoon, challenged wine-lovers to describe an Italian red wine in just seven words. The results are often poetic and evocative:

‘Chewed end of a wooden ink pen.’

‘[L]ike your mother-in-law; spicy, tart and sweet.’

‘Leather clad cowboy embraces innocent luscious berries.’

‘Faded Violet Around an Ancient Fruity Abbey.’

Forget “drink with chicken”—if I saw descriptions like these on a wine store shelf, they’d entice me to buy a bottle. Some of them are almost as good as Lane Steinberg’s red wine haiku reviews.

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