A line from Monty Python's short but gut-bustingly funny "Australian Table Wines" sketch. It is said of a sparkling wine called Perth Pink:

"Of the sparkling wines, the most famous is "Perth Pink". This is a bottle with a message in it, and the message is BEWARE! This is not a wine for drinking -- this is a wine for laying down and avoiding."

In general, this is a pretty funny phrase pattern to use to indicate that something is truly beyond awful:

"You want to rent Biodome?! That's not a movie for renting -- that's a movie for laying down and avoiding.

Note that the last phrase ("laying down and avoiding") should be said with emphasis and, if possible, in your best Eric Idle voice.

Chihuahua Grub says: what enkidu fails to mention is whether or not Biodome will grow better and more enjoyable with age...

I thought the same for many years... in fact, until just this moment. But now that I've heard this line with my current knowledge of wine and wine afficionados, it I realize that the actual meaning of that phrase is more complicated. Wine lovers often speak of laying down a bottle of wine when they are planning to keep it and allow it to mature. The phrase evidently derives from the fact that the wine would actually be laid down in a cellar, where the cool, dark environment allows the chemical processes inside the bottle to proceed at a measured pace.

To an outsider, the phrase "laying down and avoiding" conjures images of carefully setting down a grenade and cautiously backing away. But to a wine person, that line merely means that the wine needs a good, long time to age before it should be drunk (or, perhaps, that it should be left in the cellar for some unsuspecting pigeon to drink). Since Monty Python often makes fun of aristocrats, and since the culture of wine is better-known in England than in the United States, I find it likely that the intention is a disorienting merger of the two concepts.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.