Results: After a $12 million scientific study of New Zealand’s signature Sauvignon Blanc identified its flavor as a combination of passion fruit, asparagus, and cat’s pee, we asked you to identify the combination of flavors a panel of wine snobs would say best describes the taste of your favorite $5 bottle of rotgut. Thus we heard a lot about bold high fructose corn syrup notes with delicate hints of (take your pick) WD40, Everclear, Robitussin and Red Dye #2, yielding unmistakable top notes of gooseberry, Lemon Pledge and gently burning tires. And did we catch a waft of bare foot wrapped in bacon shoved into fur-lined boot last summer? Thought so! But your favorite vintage of all turns out to be a palate-tickling sweet swirl of —
FIRST PRIZE: Kool-Aid, rubbing alcohol and Teen Spirit.
Mark Furlong, Chicago
Skunk, death and daffodils.
Iain McInnes, Gouldsboro, PA
THIRD PRIZE: Sloe gin, Listerine and fruitcake.
Deborah Kelly, Monterey, CA
Parsley, sage, rosemary and slime.
Reid Robash, Racine, WI
Grape juice, paper cups and college.
Lynne Rusco Moore, Miramar, FL
Raisins, Brussels sprouts and dirt from Shea Stadium.
Mike Gersz, Columbus, OH
Nehi Grape Soda aged in car cup-holder 5-7 days, mingled with Pixie Stix and essence of ancient table cloth (stained).
Harise Poland Wright, Silver Spring, MD
Wet cardboard, sour milk and horse.
Carrie Sullivan, Alexandria, VA
Artichokes with a subtle hint of pencil erasure.
Brian Whitney, Ojai, CA
Onions, olive oil and Efferdent.
Jetty St. John, Grand Marais, MN
Bacon, baby power and broccoli.
Kiutus Tecumseh, Albuquerque, NM
“Night Plane” exudes the playful essence of yesterday’s First Class fruit tray combined with the spicy tang of overnight air recirculated from coach. With delightful hints of Propylene glycol, Jet A and liquid lavatory hand soap.
Jan Santoscoy, Wichita
10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.
Tony Mennuto, Huntingon, NY
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why we need a maximum wage
- The sexual politics of Game of Thrones just got enormously worse
- Why Antonin Scalia was right to defend a drug dealer
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why Mindy Kaling — not Lena Dunham — is the body positive icon of the moment
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why Narendra Modi is not a shoo-in to become India's next prime minister
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 9 ways music can improve your life
Subscribe to the Week