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
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-China war look like?
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The obstacles to religious enchantment in a secular age
Subscribe to the Week