How (not) to be classy at a wine tasting

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wine tasting is generally considered to be quite a sophisticated activity. Meandering along those wine trails from vineyard to vineyard, usually with a stunning backdrop… who wouldn’t be tempted? It’s one of those moments where some cliched writer would exhale a sigh of satisfaction and say “This is the life”.

And perhaps it is. But some of us (me) aren’t naturally as elegant as to waltz through this lifestyle without a hitch. I have the odd combination of sometimes having expensive tastes, wanting to indulge in luxury here and there and being a little clumsy with a tendency to scoff at complete pretentiousness.

I’ve been on a few wine tastings in my (short) time and this is my guide on what (not) to do… or to somehow conceal it better.


Only half of you in the group are actually doing the wine tasting

If you’ve deliberately set out on a wine tasting, you’d sensibly assume everyone was going to be tasting wine. You idiot, of course not. That’s right, I went in a group of four girls in Victoria, Australia and only two of us were drinking. One was driving – fair, and the other doesn’t really like wine… oh. It was like mummy and daddy had taken out the two alcoholics for the day to get their wine fix.

It may not help when you also try and persuade the others to “man up and drink!” – sometimes that university lifestyle just sticks, you know?


Choking on the wine

This is my crowning glory of a lack of class. Location: Finger Lakes, New York, USA. I don’t know if I was overexcited the next wine was a desert wine (having a sweet tooth, desert wine is like my alcoholic candy) or what, but somehow it went down the wrong pipe and a pretty embarrassing coughing fit ensued.

I have always appreciated the exposed brick and rustic looking buildings these wine tastings take place in… On this occasion, I did not. Echoes don’t help subdue and only highlight your lack of ability to breathe. It was only after a considerable time I was offered water, as well. I think they were teaching me a lesson.


Intertwining arms to drink

Like the way girls tend to for shots, linking arms then downing said shot? Yeah… the less said about this one the better. As I’ve said before, sometimes you just don’t want to let go of that university You.


Laughing at the one serving you

I know you’re meant to stand there poised but nonchalant as the kind man/woman pours your trickle of wine, but when they’re doing it in a funny way, it’s hard not to lose it. Again in the Finger Lakes, one man would give us a great narration of each wine as he poured. “Rieslinggg…. Rieeeeeeesling”.


The faux sniff and swirl

Do you dare? Is it always the right thing to do or do you just look like a twat? Do most of us even know what we’re really doing? You’re meant to sniff the wine and swirl the content of your glass as though unveiling those lemongrass or mahogany tones (who comes up with these comparisons?) but whenever I do it, I’m sure I’m being judged. Mainly by myself.









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