Joy and Gluttony

My wine taste profile

May 29, 2016


Last week I hung out at the Le Petit Ballon press party, drinking wine with a friend in a little basement bar that offers pétanque as a distraction. Good times were had.

To further elaborate, Le Petit Ballon is a monthly subscription box (those are all the rage right now, aren’t they?) for wine. You sign up and each month the sommelier from the Paris Ritz sends you two bottles of wine, specifically chosen to fit your taste profile.

They have created this brilliant chart of “wine families” that can help you to choose wines that you’ll like by flavour, region and how well they match with the food you plan to eat. Because everything needs to be planned around food. That’s life 101.

Anyway, I was browsing through these wine families with their flavour descriptions and got to thinking about how my wine flavour profile would look. Here are a few examples of how Le Petit Ballon have structured their wine families:

Le Petit Ballon Wine Families

And here’s what I’m looking for in a wine family:

The Struggle Against Reality – Wines to drink at the times when you just go nope, this isn’t my life. Turn it off and turn it back on again coz I’m rebooting the system
FLAVOUR: The cloudy taste of delusion with a dreamy hint of “I’m gonna be alright”. Other Jennifer Lopez songs may feature.
PAIRINGS: Comfort food; cheesy puffs, Chinese take out and chocolate cake. Eaten all at once coz ain’t nobody got time for service à la russe right now.
OCCASION: Tuesdays that went to hell and you need to pretend it’s Friday.


Time Filling Tipple – The kind of drinking you do alone that really shouldn’t count as drinking alone because that has a bad reputation.
FLAVOUR: Powerful bubbles, a hint of nerves and the lingering fear of alcoholism
PAIRINGS: Drinks that don’t count as drinking can only be eaten with foods that don’t count as eating; ie, crisps, crackers and shaved ham from that mysterious packet in the fridge that you didn’t buy but I guess whoever did won’t mind you eating it because it doesn’t really count. The stuff you eat to avoid doing anything useful in that gap between the last useful thing you did and dinner.
OCCASION: That awkward drink you have alone while waiting for someone else to arrive. If they do arrive. OMG.


Sneaking, Creeping, Quaffing  – The wines you drink while cuddled up at home with a laptop on the couch, falling further and further into the bizarre sinkhole that is the internet.
FLAVOUR: A curious hint of spice with a full bodied and slightly woody finish
PAIRINGS: Things that you can eat one handed. Pizza. Toast. Sausage rolls.
OCCASION: Social media stalking your ex, then your rivals and eventually even that person you met once seven years ago.


Casual Consuming – Wines that you can drink without getting messy. For those times you need to keep a semblance of professionalism because ending the night sitting in a stranger’s bathtub, having the vomit hosed from your person while you quietly cuddle a goldfish just isn’t really an option.
FLAVOUR: A touch of tart, a hint of semen, but only enough to be fun. Not enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth.
PAIRINGS: Canapes that have impossible to pronounce names, just waiting for you to mess them up and make a fool of yourself.
OCCASION: Work drinks, parties with friends of friends and gatherings that take place in that weird borough you never visit that you’re not quite sure how to get home from.


Basically, reasons why I’m not a sommelier. If anyone has any ideas for wines that would actually fit into my taste profiles, let me know. This could be a game changer.

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