Le Vin de Merde, a Truly ‘Shit Wine’ from France
Score : 83/100
‘Le Vin de Merde’ in French, means literally ‘The Shit Wine’.
To back up the joke, they’ve gone as far as putting a ‘shit fly’ on the label, this kind of big fat fly that likes to feed off the stuff…
The intention being to highlight that this is not a wine to be taken too seriously.
The label’s sub-tittle goes like ‘Le Pire… cache le meilleur’ meaning ‘the worst hides the best’.
Further below, one can read ‘Le Vin des Philosophes’ or ‘the wine from the philosophers’.
I have to admit I loved the joke about this wine name.
When I was in New Zealand (for 6 years) with no opportunity to try this wine, I found this concept by Frenchman Jean Marc Speziale so refreshing (I mean new) in a world where wine people take themselves and the story of their wine sometimes too seriously.
This wine seemed to say, rather humbly: “no expectations here, this is not good wine so you won’t be disappointed”.
In a couple of words, this labels says: “no bullshit”, which sounds like a good thing.
From there’s only a way up I thought. The wine should be actually quite good because when you have no expectations, it always tastes better. Like when you go to the movies expecting a bad film.
As an advocate of wine that should be easily appreciated and enjoyed simply by the masses myself, this concept talked to me.
So, finding myself in France now, when I found the ditto wine in a shop.
I obviously jumped at the opportunity of trying it, and finding out for myself what it had to say, beyond the ‘no bullshit’ label and displayed message.
So how good is this “Le Vin de Merde’ Wine?
Part of the answer is in the tasting notes:
A bright dense red and slightly purple color. Bright and deep: good.
The nose though gives away aromas of unripe Syrah. It has fruity characters of sour cherry, but is mainly filled with vegetal tones of freshly cut grass, hay, green tree bark. It just doesn’t smell quite right.
Put it in your mouth, the nightmare becomes reality.
The wine feels green, harsh green biter tannins, fruit flavors taken over by hay ones. Short, dry and bitter finish. Many of those things we don’t like to taste in wines.
It feels like the fruit simply wasn’t ripe enough, providing a rather thin uninteresting wine.
I suppose all of these relative faults would be forgivable is the wine was cheap.
Yes, it tastes like a cheap Languedoc wine, which is probably what it is.
If I had paid only a few euros for it, I would happily forget (and forgive) about the wine’s faults. You get what you paid for, and for a few (2 or 3) euros, this would be a decent buy.
But I paid over 10 euros for this stuff. Why?
Just because I was curious about this ‘Shit wine’ label with a fly on it.
What did I get?
Well, no guessing: a properly shitty wine I paid four times the price I owed to have.
I guess they were trying to say that a wine can be called ‘shitty’ without being bad, so they’ve dared calling it like this.
What I don’t understand though, is why they actually delivered a truly ordinary wine, if not shitty, and made it very expensive at that.
What I thought was a truly sincere good joke, is actually a very very bad one.
The wine doesn’t even come with a vintage on it (Vin de France) nor does it reveal the grape variety or blend composition.