The problem was brought home by this blurb in one of those e-mails:
Me thinks he needs an editor, or at least a thesaurus."The 2012 Barolo Castiglione is a gorgeous, radiant wine. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, wild flowers and spices all meld together in a sensual, radiant wine endowed with striking presence and intensity. In 2012, the Castiglione is especially lifted, radiant and expressive, with striking purity and nuance. With time in the glass, the wine freshens up considerably, so aeration is a good idea for readers who want to open the 2012 early. This is a striking, seriously delicious Barolo from Vietti."-Antonio Galloni
A little searching of my e-mails has turned up a list of overused words in Vinous, including: pedigree, class (often used together), luminescent, translucent, radiant, expressive, nuance/nuanced (“Scents of iron, smoke, herbs and licorice add the closing shades of nuances” [italics added; huh?]), polished and striking/strikingly.
Keith Levenberg suggested a bingo card, so here's my first stab:
I'm sure we could make up one for Parker (I claim "hedonistic" for my center square). The guys at Zachy's are a little too fond of "patriarch" in their own pitches, so we could put that on their bingo card.
It’s hard not to sympathize when Galloni confesses that he’s run out of words:
* "The 2014 Montrose … is a much deeper wine than just a bunch of descriptors can conjure.”
* " Krug's 1988 Vintage … a Champagne of nearly indescribable finesse.”
* "Azelia's 2010 Barolo Bricco Fiasco is incredibly polished in this vintage. Dried roses, crushed berries, tobacco, mint and spices are woven together in a fabric of nearly indescribable class and elegance.”
Still, other times I wished he'd tried harder to express himself.
I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out how a wine "exudes resonance" and I'm not sure how a vintage can have a pedigree ("Two thousand thirteen is shaping up to be an epic vintage of classic proportions and superb pedigree”).
Over to you.... Want to suggest a Parker bingo card? An alternative Galloni card? Other favorite critics' malapropisms?
[Edited periodically to update subject heading.]