Monday, January 03, 2005

Missed the Bouquet

So I had dinner with Elizabeth on New Year's Eve. Given that we had failed to make it on our vacation, I figured the least we could do was get together for dinner to celebrate the new year, whether or not we made it to midnight.

We decided to splurge and order a bottle of wine. Keep in mind, I am not a wine connoisseur. Usually when called upon to order a bottle of wine, the most important thing for me (after red or white) is the price, not the year, or country of origin, or other accoutrements of a good wine.

Elizabeth picked the wine: a $29 bottle labelled as a mid-bodied, slightly fruity white. Sounded fine.

The bottle arrived at the table, and it came time to do that "sample" thing they do at restaurants, where they pour a small bit of the wine into a glass and allow you to taste it before it's poured in earnest. Honestly, I don't know what you're supposed to be looking for when you take this taste test. Personally, I suppose it's just meant to be to make sure that it's not vinegar. I know you're supposed to swirl red wine (to open up the body) but it's less important to do so with whites.

For some reason, the waiter poured the taste test glass for me. Not quite knowing what to do, I swirled it around just a bit, took a quick smell off the top, and sipped. "Mmm, tasty."

After the waiter left, Elizabeth politely informed me that white wines have no "bouquet", and as such, should not be sniffed when tasted.

My response: Whatever.

As I said, I have no idea what I'm doing when I taste the wine before the pour. I fake it. The sniff was a reflex action, and frankly, it also helps to decide whether or not the wine has gone past its time.

I'm not big on the pretentions of wine tasting. All I know is if it tastes good or not. I can enjoy a $10 bottle as well as a $90 bottle if the $10 is tasty. Who cares whether I should have sniffed or not?

1 comment:

Coffee Dog said...

Ah yes the wine tasting. I think they just want you to feel all warm and fuzzy for spending 29 bucks for a bottle of wine you could get for 8.99 at the grocery store!