The Brits have a word for everything.  Just watch Ramsey’s kitchen nightmare to learn one of their favorites.   For me one their greatest words – and I guess by default one of the greatest words of the English language – is Plonk.

Plonk is slang for cheap wine, bad wine, undrinkable wine, wine only fit for mulling or clearing the drain. 

I pulled the cork on some plonk recently.  There were two saving graces to this event. One, I didn’t purchase the wine – it was a homemade gift. Secondly, I had another wine downstairs that I could open.  So after a large glass of Pellegrino – my tastebud detox – I had some real wine to drink.

Left with an undesirable bottle of plonk the question in front of us was obvious.  Drain or mull? Despite my efforts, my wife won out and got to mull the plonk –  I dislike mulled wine almost as much as I dislike plonk and our drains still run a tad slow. It’s sad to think that somebody put some time and optimism into bottling, fermenting, and gifting this “wine”.  You know when you say to somebody “you really shouldn’t have”?  In this case they really shouldn’t have. I don’t want to seem ungrateful but I’m not even sure that it’s the thought that counts.

Now what is self perplexing (that means I am in conundrum – I think?) is that I am still willing and excited to accept homemade wine from anybody.

At the end of one of my favorite Simpsons episodes Marge asks Homer, “I hope you learned your lesson Homer”, to which he replies, “Marge my dear, I haven’t learned a thing”.  I get that.

About Travis Oke

Wine writer / consultant View all posts by Travis Oke

8 responses to “Plonk

  • Brad Woods

    I agree, home made wine is always worth the risk. My friend JD gave me a bottle for my 4Oth that we liked ALOT.
    And now we have JD refered to on the Blog!

  • Cam Toth

    I thought you were going to reference the man working at Euro- Itchy and Scratchy Land, when no one shows up. “C’mon, eh? Who are you to resist it?! My kids need wine!”

  • pdpace

    I’ve only had one – count it – one bad bottle of home made vino. We were at a softball tournament of all places. The guys that put on the tourney had their own wine complete with their own logo on the bottle. Nice gesture, but it was awful! The only real redeeming quality of the afternoon was that every team paused for an hour and ate a 2 course meal – not hot dogs and fries mind you – but, primo of pesto lasagna and a secondo of pollo allo speiedo. Roasted chicken. Only in Italy!

  • brother in spain

    Best homemade wine was at the infamous, (that means more than famous) pig killing day about 10 years ago. It was sherry that the guy bottled in glass tomato juice jars. It tasted great, (dry bitter-walnutty finish) but my friend Antonia gave me a heads-up: “Don’t even drink half a glass or you’ll have a headache for the next year.” Too bad, it seemed great.

    • Travis Oke

      That pig killing day story is enough for you to start a blog on that day alone – although I saw Jamie Oliver kill a pig on TV so I guess the world is ready for that

      • Brother in Spain

        If you’ve ever heard used the phrase, “Squealed like a stuck pig!” but have never actually had your face within 6 inches of a pig’s face at the moment it was stuck, you have no right to use the phrase, “Squealed like a stuck pig.” ‘nuf said.

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