PS Formal Tastings: What They Don’t Tell You When your head’s brimming with theory, it only makes sense to put it to the test. Sometimes this can lead to the uncomfortable realization that theory is like a pair of new shoes: at first it feels great but after a while it begins to pinch the toes of practicality.
A tasting can sometimes resemble the story of the Wedding at Cana where the best wine was apparently saved for last. However, in tastings today, the trick is not saving the best for last but rather, deciding what order is best when your lineup takes on biblical proportions.
The Noble Art of Spitting
Before I became a ‘serious’ runner, I would begrudgingly tag along when Mad Dog went for his A.M. jog. Oh, the price of love and devotion! When the sparkling conversation went flat, I’d grab a handful of berries off the local wild cherry trees lining the path, stuff them into my mouth and, in rapid fire, spit them…at Mad Dog. Obnoxious, I know, but at least it helped pass the time. Now this tale has two happy endings – at least for me: Mad Dog stopped inviting me along for his morning trots, (Gee, I wonder why?) and, little did I know, my once crass behavior would one day serve me well in a much classier endeavor.
Keeping Clear and Consistent Records
I just love historical trivia. Once a guest confided to me the “real” origin of the term riserva. It seems the term was coined during a time when drinking water was scarce. What water was available was often tainted, so winemakers would reserve wine for their own use in place of drinking water. Well, I found this little tidbit fascinating. However, no matter how many ways I cast the search words in Google, I came up with nothing to back up this tale. The best I could find was a reference to winemakers who traditionally would “reserve” some of their best wine rather than sell it immediately. I guess my little expedition into the roots of this wine term was merely an exercise in fruitility.
Wine and Words
Déjà vu comes from the French expression “already seen” coined in 1903. It’s that strange sensation that what you are now experiencing has happened before. Here it is in a sentence: “I knew I had never seen DeniZe’s session Wine and Words before, but as she started talking about a picture being worth a thousand words, I got a weird but awesome sense of déjà vu.”
Choosing a Glass
NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, influences the thoughts and actions of the listener by subliminal suggestion. Let’s see if you can find the subject of this week’s session in my attempt at NLP and subliminal messaging: There’s more afoot to enhancing our enjoyment of wine than its exact temperature. Glasnost might stem the guessing. Stating the obvious might bowl you over. But never fear, it’ll soon become crystal clear.
When is a Burgundy – or even a Budweiser – a Merlot? No, I haven’t been peering too deeply into my cups. Quite the contrary: I’m facing the same dilemma comparative wine tasters all over the world are facing. For solutions to this global wine-taster’s dilemma, and tonight’s riddle, join me in Good to the Last Drop. It may be the last time you’ll ever judge a wine by its cover.