Ten things you should not do at a Wine Tasting.

 

  1. Wear White. I have witnessed a professional wine buyer asleep on a bus looking like he had taken 5 gunshots to the upper abdomen, when detailed inspection reveals a collection of claret stains won while fighting his way to the First Growths table.
  2. Advertise ones obvious ignorance; Touriga Nacional are not languishing in the lower midst of the Portugese second division and for goodness sake, it’s pronounced “Reese-ling”
  3. Put your glass down. Under no circumstances should you part with your glass. If it’s sloppily caked in your lipstick or resembles a fingerprinted murder weapon, keep it.  Staff engaged at tastings are invariably overzealous at spotting these soiled glasses. Unfortunately they are never as enthusiastic at providing fresh ones.
  4. Swallow. It could be a long day. Never swallow the first wines at a tasting no matter how good you think they are. Spitting is cool! It’s also great fun when perfected.
  5. Greet acquaintances while tasting. Learning to taste wine is the exact opposite of learning the basics of swimming. When learning to swim one holds the nose and blows air out an open mouth through water. When tasting wine one sucks in via an open mouth, air through liquid. Interfering with the complex mental processes involved here can be catastrophic. If it goes in, you get a lungful of wine followed by the involuntarily spluttering of shiraz garnished with snot and mucus all over those within a near radius. If it comes out you will be likely to need a new blouse.  Probably best not to attend wine tastings at swimming clubs either.
  6.  Have too much faith in your spitting prowess. Bearing in mind the myriad of possible mishaps it is easy to marvel at the grace of an experienced taster emptying his mouth of assessed wine. The head tips slightly towards the spittoon and in a continuous movement the wine is emitted in an arcing stream like it was flowing from an expensive garden ornament. Bend your head over the spittoon with you free hand holding back neckties or jewellery, open wide and let gravity do the rest.
  7. Eat the free crackers while tasting intense reds; dry crackers with young concentrated shiraz means wine soaked mini projectiles will fly uncontrollably,  multidirectionally from your lips on every subsequent utterance.
  8. Smoke or wear strong perfume despite all the blather about upsetting the enjoyment and experience of those around you, smelling like and ashtray or a pox doctors receptionist just isn’t classy!
  9. Pick up a glass that isn’t yours; if you have made the error of putting it down in the first place, check for a lipstick match, then examine the fingerprints. If the person to whom the glass belongs is not standing perplexed, beside you by now, you will only find out if the glass is yours when your lip does not erupt in an irritating herpes some days after.
  10. Drive home ; Despite spitting dozens of wines away and  even if you only swallowed minute samples of two humdingers you tasted, alcohol is absorbed into your system. Get the bus! If you don’t, start  praying to St Vitus von der Wartbuhl(patron saint of getting something you don’t deserve by drinking wine with strangers)  for a Judge with a vinous understanding .
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About winephantom

The recession has hit hard, no more tipping the last 1/2 glass out of the champagne bottle because it's a tad too warm. My lender would be kicking down my door for his interest if he knew I was drinking at all. Now I spend my time with the €5-€10 bottles discovering some real value and encountering some swamp donkeys to be avoided. This blog is a Wine Diploma holding palate, forced to trawl the murky depths populated by the bare knuckle fighters of the "entry level" wine world, trying to reveal the real crackers. Tasting notes exposed!! Regular explanations of the rubbish that are tasting notes! Wine Waffle indeed! Stories and trivia about wine.
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