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Sunday, April 22, 2012

I am not a wine snob


My friends think I am a wine snob. But I am not. For example, I recently attended a very nice wine tasting in Zurich. The name of the place? Can't remember. The wines we drank? Um there was one from Spain, one from Italy and also some others. Now you know that any self respecting wine snob would have noted the above and more, in order to tell the story back to unsuspecting friends who are usually bored to tears by stories of wines. 
I am however a wine drinker, and I prefer to drink only good wine. No plonk thank you very much. 

I was invited to a very nice wine tasting at a recent client meeting. We were lead down into a proper wine cellar with everything imaginable stored there. I noticed one bottle with a 2200 Euro price tag on it. I wonder what occasion would call for that particular wine? I mean I have a couple of bottles of wine that some would suggest I keep for a special occasion, but they are in a very different price range than this. They are good enough that just opening them will make an ordinary day a special occasion. But at 10 or 20 times the price, I would have to dig deep for the appropriate moment to crack one open.
Back to the wine tasting.

We had a very good caviste/sommelier who poured us a healthy sip of each selected wine, gave us a short spiel, then left us to talk amongst ourselves while we enjoyed the wine in our glasses. 
I like to observe who swirls their glass professionally, sticks their big nose deep in the glass, breathes air over the sip of wine on their tongue, and then,for no good reason, spits it out. (Please don't feel the need to fill me in; I do know why!)
There are also those who empty their glass into the jug provided in order to receive the next taste. I will admit that at one particular wine tasting in Germany I was surreptitiously dumping the wine into a drain behind me because it was truly undrinkable, but that is another story.
This is me normally. I like to look at the color and body, sure, and give it a good swirl and all that. I like to hear what the resident expert has to say about the wine we are tasting.
And I love the taste from my lips all the way to the back of my throat, and the warm tingly feeling it gives me on its way to my tummy. Spit it out and miss that part? I would rather not.
Living in Europe, we are often treated to excellent wines from France, Spain and Italy, and see fewer "New World" wines. So of all the wines we tasted, we were surprised to find the one we enjoyed the most was a 1979 Merlot from California.  I don't remember the name, but then again I probably can't afford to love it too much!
An enjoyable evening of wines I may never drink again with people I may never see again.

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