One of the great things about wine is that each bottle is unique, and different grapes, vintners, vintages all produce different tastes. Considering that I have always been on a budget and unable to afford truly fine wines, wine has been good to me over the years and added much to my gustatory enjoyments. But there have been a few times where a bottle of wine has been so memorably terrible that it is etched permanently in my brain.
The first two times were years ago: When I moved from the West Coast to Ohio, I had drunk nothing but European and California wines. When I got my first paycheck and felt like celebrating, I bought a bottle of some type of Taylor New York red. I had heard that New York produced a lot of wine, but I had never seen a bottle in a store before, so I thought that trying something different would be a good way to celebrate. Well it was different! I was shocked that they allowed something that tasted so weird be labeled and sold as wine. If that had been my first bottle of wine, it would have been years before I ever would have had a second.
The next bad experience was a few years later in a little Italian restaurant. Again it was a special occasion, and I asked the waitress if they had any good wine. She replied that they had a very popular Italian wine, so I ordered a bottle. That was my introduction to Lambrusco. Yuk.
But the real reason for this post was a bottle of Napa Ridge Pinot Grigio 1999 that I opened a couple of days ago. Over the years I have been lulled into thinking that most California wines were drinkable, if not always very good, and I have had several pleasant experiences with the inexpensive Napa Ridge brand. But this bottle was (pardon me) crap. I know white wines can be served with fish, but I've never before had a sip of one that tasted like fish. I honestly cannot remember tasting another white wine that bad in my entire life--and I'm getting to be an old guy. One sip and down the drain.
So anyway, it got me to wondering if other 'hounds have had truly nasty wine experiences. Please share.