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Don't Try This At Home. At Least Not With Good Wine.

I love the Internet. If only because it never ceases to be a source of moments that leave you scratching your head, jaw dropped, laughing hysterically, or in some cases, a mix of all three. For instance, this image...


...which was posted to Reddit earlier today with no explanation other than the title: "Bottle of wine to the FACE!"

My guess is that this is one of the new components of the oral examination for the 2009 Masters of Wine curriculum.

Thanks to Jack at Fork & Bottle for the tipoff.

Comments (22)

Doug Cook wrote:
12.21.08 at 8:53 PM

Yep, that's in the MW curriculum, spiritually, at least. You have to smash a bottle of wine against your forehead, and guess the variety, percentage alcohol (within 1/2%), place of origin as closely as possible, as well as judge the quality of the wine. All conclusions must be supported by evidence; in this case, the size of the resulting bruise may be evidence of a heavier bottle, meaning potentially a higher-quality wine; acidity may be judged by the level of sting to the eyes, etc.

By the third wine of the flight of 12, "pate fatigue" sets in, making things more difficult.

Sitting this year out of the program, but hoping to have a steel plate put in my forehead prior to the exams!

Dale Cruse wrote:
12.22.08 at 3:44 AM

I suggest a caption contest! Here's my submission: "NEXT TIME ON WINE LIBRARY TV!"

12.22.08 at 8:57 AM

Obviously a fruit forward wine.

el jefe wrote:
12.22.08 at 1:21 PM

I wouldn't try this with The Spaniard!

Tzahi wrote:
12.22.08 at 1:39 PM


Wink Lorch wrote:
12.22.08 at 1:46 PM

Well, Holmes, I think that 30-something New Zealander, Grant Phelps definitely thought he could do something better with the Secreto line from Colchagua, Chile. He's not so happy here either.

Dylan wrote:
12.22.08 at 2:12 PM

Well, that fly will never land on his nose again. (admittedly, I've recycled this caption from Dr. Vino's contest, he posted the same picture)

Hank wrote:
12.22.08 at 2:34 PM

"Ooh, what a lovely nose!"

12.22.08 at 5:41 PM

Smashing! An unforgettable bottle! Went right to my head! Most impressive!

Matt Wilson wrote:
12.23.08 at 2:17 AM

As the photographer who made this image I suggest taking it down unless you want to be sued.

Alder wrote:
12.23.08 at 8:07 AM


Wow. It's an awesome image! Congrats.

I made clear where I found it online. I hope you've gone after Reddit as well. Or did they pay you for the rights?

Is there any way I can leave it up and clearly attribute it to you? I'd even love to get some sort of statement about it from you, or explanation of it.

No commercial intent on my site other than to entertain and share the image with wine lovers who clearly (as you can see from the comments) appreciate it.

Alder wrote:
12.23.08 at 10:17 AM

For those who want to see more of Matts stuff I suggest a trip to his stunning web site:


The guy is seriously talented. And I'm not saying that just because I don't want to be sued (which I don't).

Allen wrote:
12.24.08 at 7:07 AM

Perhaps the photographer could chime in, but I'm fairly certain the bottle used here was not your typical glass wine bottle (if it were, the guy would be seriously injured). As in the movies, when someone gets clobbered with a bottle, it's a stunt bottle made of - believe it or not - sugar. Called breakaway glass. Same applies to the windows stunt people get thrown through.

Matt Wilson wrote:
12.24.08 at 8:58 AM

Alder knows how it was made, if he wants to divulge this information that is up to him. However the model Grant Phelps insists he is an ultra hard bastard and will kick anyones arse if they disagree!

Alder wrote:
12.24.08 at 11:30 AM

So as Matt hints, I have managed to convince him to divulge a little bit of background about the photo (and not sue me!). Here's what he had to say about the photo:

"The image was for a magazine in Chile called La CaV. I was commissioned to take three portraits of Grant for an article two years ago. I think the PDF is on my site. The bottle was a sugar or stunt bottle which we bought 12 of in Hollywood California at a cost of 60 USD per bottle (more than most wines)! This particular image was rejected due to it looking to violent, or as the photo editor said 'Too Pulp Fiction!' The wine was real though, a Syrah I believe."

For more about Matt and the work he did in this series, check out this interview with him on the Wines of Chile site.

Dale Cruse wrote:
12.24.08 at 11:41 AM

I recognized the label immediately as a Secreto red: http://www.estacaodovinho.com.br/hotsite/secreto/syrah.gif

Matt Wilson wrote:
12.26.08 at 6:22 AM

I ought to add, that if you look at his hand, you can see this was not the first attempt!

John Skupny wrote:
12.28.08 at 6:36 PM

"heady aromatics"

Thanks for the link to matt's work, alder. Very refreshing stuff for the wine biz... gets me thinking.

12.29.08 at 10:45 AM

Well I'm relieved to know it was done before they got an 87 from Jay Miller...

jamie wrote:
11.10.09 at 1:13 PM

well im freakedout IS HE OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the everyman sommelier wrote:
08.13.11 at 8:48 PM

Any one know where this image came from. I would love to contact the photographer for permission to use it on a blog site.

Matt Wilson wrote:
08.13.11 at 10:28 PM

Hi the image is mine. So far it has been illegally used over 400 on the internet. On Vinography it has been licensed though. Many of the illegal users are about to receive invoices. The image can be purchased from my UK agency (www.cephas.com)

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