30 Second Wine Advisor
Today's sponsors
Brentwood Wine Company:
Compare rates and service

(Click here for the details)

Hotel Vintage Court:
Choose your holiday in San Francisco

(Click here for the details)

In This Issue
Caution: Wine humor ahead!
 Brentwood Wine Company
 Hotel Vintage Court San Francisco
Administrivia

Caution: Wine humor ahead!

If you don't see anything funny about wine, you might want to click "Next Message" now, as I'm about to discuss a Web link that offers an exercise in wine-related hilarity ... with a little bonus fun for those who also enjoy computers and making them do their thing.

Still here? Then let's click to Greg, Laurel & Brady's Place, the personal Website of a Seattle couple (and their infant son) who like technology and wine, and who were inspired by a Sonoma wine-country trip to create what has to be the world's first "Silly Tasting Notes Generator."

Let's put it through its paces. A click on "Normal" yields this result:

Classic but extra-ripe Pinot Gris. Kicks you with tobacco, putrid sun-dried tomato and hopeful rye. Drink now through eternity.

Hmmm. Let's try clicking "Extra-Silly."

Austere but equally french-oaked Dessert wine. Throws out poi, oily teriyaki and semi-weak tootsie-roll. Drink now through graduation.

I think you get the idea. For the geeks among us - computer geeks, that is - the "tasting notes" are generated by a Perl script that picks random wine aroma and flavor terms (selected from real Wine Spectator tasting notes!), grape names, and an array of verbs and adjectives from word lists built into the script, and displays them in a standard wine-note format, generating a different note every time (within the bounds of probability theory, anyway).

More precisely, explains Greg (who uses only his first name on the site):

"The tasting note comes out in the following structure:
    (Intro) (Modifier) (Adjective) (Varietal).
    (Verb) (Adjective) (Flavor) flavors,
    (Adjective) (Flavor), and (Strength-word) (Flavor).
    Drink (When) through (EndWhen)."

"After tasting a ton of wines on our recent Sonoma trip," Greg writes on the Website, "we started talking about all of the adjectives used to describe wines in those little notes you read on them. We got to wondering how they came up with all those adjectives. Laurel had the idea to make a book of wine tasting note words, and me being a computer geek thought it'd make a great Perl script for the web page. After a couple hours I came up with the Silly Tasting Notes Generator 1.0 (STNG 1.0 - No relation to Star Trek: The Next Generation)."

Now it has evolved to Version 1.1. You'll find it here:
http://www.gmon.com/tech/output.shtml.

For Greg's full explanation of the script and how it works, see:
http://www.gmon.com/tech/stng.shtml.

And the full source code, for the programmers among us who'd like to play around with their own version, is online here: http://www.gmon.com/tech/sillytng.txt.

The moral to the story, if there is one, is simply this: Whenever we start to take our wine hobby too seriously, it's often useful to have a good laugh.


Brentwood Wine Company:
Compare rates and service

Brentwood Wine Company Discover rare treasures and old favorites buying wine at auction. Compare these current Buyer's Premium rates:

Christie's: 17.5%
Sotheby's: 17.5%
Brentwood Wine Company: 6% to 12%

Are you planning to sell wine? Here's the time it takes to get paid from delivery:

Christie's: 2-3 months
Sothebys: 2-3 months
WineBid.com: 2-3 months
Brentwood Wine Company: 1 week

Since 1998 Brentwood Wine Company has been offering rare wine at auction every week, for less. For wine collectors, Brentwood has been the source for fair prices and prompt payment on well-stored fine wine; find out for yourself by faxing your list to (503) 638-6737 or sending it via email to appraisal@brentwoodwine.com.

Brentwood Wine Company has great prices on Riedel glassware too!

Brentwood Wine Company: The Lowest Premiums. The Best Hours (24/7). The Finest Wines.
Click http://www.brentwoodwine.com/ to visit.


Hotel Vintage Court:
Choose your holiday in San Francisco

Vintage Court Need a rejuvenating break this Spring? Stay at Hotel Vintage Court in San Francisco and you can "Choose Your Holiday" for just $99 per night, single or double occupancy.

What better place to spend a relaxing evening or two, or three, than at the only wine-themed hotel in the City by the Bay. The occasion doesn't matter ... you can even make one up!

To book your reservation today, please call (800) 654-1100 or (415) 392-4666 and ask for the promotional rate of "CYH." Visit Hotel Vintage Court online at
http://www.vintagecourt.com.

Administrivia

To subscribe or unsubscribe from The 30 Second Wine Advisor, change your E-mail address, or for any other administrative matters, please use the individualized hotlink found at the end of your E-mail edition. If this is not practical, contact me by E-mail at wine@wineloverspage.com, including the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so I can find your record.

We do not use our E-mail list for any other purpose and will never give or sell your name or E-mail address to anyone. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. To contact me, please send E-mail to wine@wineloverspage.com

All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2003
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to the 30 Second Wine Advisor

Wine Advisor archives