The SOMM Journal

June / July 2017

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4 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2017 SOMMELIERS TASTE WINES. Editors taste sentences. Some are delicious just as they flow from the pen (or the word processor). Others need help—perhaps a rough decant that stirs up their compo - nents and allows them to fall back into place more naturally. Badly flawed wines can't be fixed, but fortunately faulty sen - tences can usually be salvaged and made much more readable. Try your somm's hand at finding the grammar, usage and style flaws in these sentences. The facts have been altered, but they're based on actual wording from real wine stories submitted to our publications. The wine table was centered in the middle of the room. WHAT'S WRONG: "Centered" and "in the middle" are redundant. BETTER: The wine table stood in the center of the room. Dripping with sweet, ripe fruit, Aussie winemaker Bruce Williams ages this Chardonnay in French oak. WHAT'S WRONG: Have you ever seen a winemaker—let alone an Aussie named Bruce—dripping with sweet, ripe fruit? In my experience, the dangling parti - ciple is the most common mistake among writers, whether amateur or professional. BETTER: Aussie winemaker Bruce Williams employs French oak to season this Chardonnay, which is dripping with sweet, ripe fruit. Anyone who has traveled along the wine route has seen the winery perched inquisitively on the hillside east of the road. WHAT'S WRONG: It's the traveler who is inquisitive, not the winery. BETTER: Anyone who has traveled along the wine route might have been inquisitive about the winery perched on the hillside east of the road. The tasting took place atop the pent - house at the Ruttman Hotel. WHAT'S WRONG: The tasting was not on top of the penthouse; it was in the penthouse. BETTER: The tasting took place in the penthouse atop the Ruttman Hotel. Delaporte says his Atlanta clientele is quite different from California. WHAT'S WRONG: The writer is com - paring people to states. BETTER: Delaporte says his Atlanta clientele is quite different from the clientele in California. It was in the first ten years of Gardner's career that the groundwork was laid to pave a foundation for his later vision. WHAT'S WRONG: Do we need both groundwork and a foundation? Surely one or the other will suffice. ("Too many notes," as the Emperor said to Amadeus.) BETTER: It was in the first ten years of Gardner's career that the groundwork was laid for his later vision. Less than 300 cases of Badinage were produced, a wine that, in its first release, refers to witty conversation. WHAT'S WRONG: "Less" is for stuff you can't count, such as editorial anguish or ice cream; "fewer" is used for countable items. Additionally, the wine's name will refer to a witty conversation no matter which vintage it's in. Reword and rearrange. BETTER: Fewer than 30 cases of Badinage were produced in its first release. The name is the French term for witty conversation. If some of my corrections seem overly punctilious, remember that nearly every - one can tell Pétrus from plonk, but only trained somms can tell Mercurey from Marsannay. David Gadd Executive Editor Finding Flaws { from the executive editor } A live auction featuring Washington State's elite wineries available exclusively to the trade. WOODINVILLE, WA | FRIDAY | 10AM - 4PM Betz Family Winery Brian Carter Cellars Chateau Ste. Michelle Col Solare DeLille Cellars Dusted Valley Fidelitas Force Majeure Forgeron l The Walls Januik L'Ecole N° 41 Leonetti Cellar Long Shadows Vintners Mark Ryan Owen Roe Pepperbridge Winery Quilceda Creek Sleight of Hand Va Piano Vineyards Woodward Canyon Winery trade only 3 RD ANNUAL

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