Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wonderful Superiority

This post is entirely tangental to the actual tastes of wine. Sort of. It's more of a stream-of-consciousness type of post so, here we go. 'Tis the season of spring portfolio/importer tastings, which rocks my socks--free learning, but is also slightly annoying. There so many very predictable types of people at these things that it makes me vomitrocious.

1. The typical "snob" who walks around throwing out unnecessary French vocabulary and asks the importer/winemaker questions BEFORE they taste, and who hops from Bordeaux, directly to Burgundy, to Barolo and Brunello, and maybe hits a few Cali/Oregon Pinot Noir or Napa Cabs. Never mind the great Rosso Piceno, Marzemino, or (god forbid) Beaujolais that begs to be tasted. Not to metion Bubbly.

2. The "oh, we go way back" sort of taster. "I've poured this wine by the glass for years." "I was the only person in Chicago to sell this wine back before it was so popular." "I know __winemaker__, he has me to his places and I make some BBQ and he pours me a vertical."

3. The twenty-something chick/dude who gets carted around by their sommelier/lover who tries to educate their sorry ass, but the chick/dude either doesn't really care or just wants to get drunk or exclaim "I love pinot!" and "Where is this from?"

4. People who don't spit.

5. The people who try to chat with me like I don't know what I'm tasting. People who say thinks like "Have you had this before? It's to die for." Or ask you a question like "So this is a blend of like 75 montepulciano, right? That's what I'm getting, anyway." The best real example being this amazing woman who was tasting an extremely mediocre Puligny-Montrachet alongside me for about the fifth time of the day and said "Now this is a fabulous Chardonnay, just outstanding." and I had to give her some attitude, so I retorted with "It's really nice, [giggle] I love Puligny, but it just tastes like average Puligny and isn't that exciting at the price." and she looked at me like I had caught her in the act. (I rarely open my mouth like that, I promise....but when I do, it's fun!)

6. Vendors/reps who don't know what their pouring. Unprofessional.

People I love at these tastings.

1. My coworkers are usually rockin' people to taste with.

2. Most of the importers are super nice, smart, and will direct you toward the esoteric must-tastes.

3. Most of the winemakers who are so happy you are taking time to taste their wines and will tell you all you need to know.

4. Hot foreign men. Argentines, Spaniards, and Italians, mainly. (There are a few wines I love simply because their winemakers or reps are smokin' hot with accents.)

5. Really nice restaurant people with good taste.



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