I haven’t been talking about wine a lot recently, I suppose because I’ve been too busy drinking it.
Have you ever been in a room with literally thousands of bottles of wine and the opportunity to taste each and every one? I got to do that recently, and it’s an experience. And if there’s just one thing I learned there it’s to spit, spit, spit.
ViniSud was a three day wine expo with over 1700 wineries showing their wines. It was for professionals only, no tourists guzzling free wine, but since I’m taking a wine tasting class my teacher got a few of us in for an afternoon. It was everything you might imagine
starting with wine barrel art in the entryway,
people tasting, scoring, and spitting everywhere you looked,
beautiful and serious people, a surprising number of them really young,
and deals being made that will determine what we’ll all be drinking this year. This is Big Wine, a huge show that happens every two years, with about 35,000 professional visitors from all over the world. The wines on display, and for sale if you’re willing to pop for several thousand bottles, were mostly French, but also from Spain, Italy, and other surprising Mediterranean countries like Tunisia and Lebanon. I have to admit to having tasted only the French stuff, but if I’d had more time and more stamina I’d have been dying to find out what kind of wine they’re making on Cyprus these days.
Wine tasting is actually hard work. I know you’re laughing, but really, some of it is terrible but you don’t know that until it’s already in your mouth, and then you have to get rid of the taste and move on to the next one. Even if you spit religiously some small bit is absorbed by your tongue, or your gums, or someplace sneaky inside your mouth, and so it’s easy to get a little spinny. And then sometimes a wine is so good that you just want to stay at that stand and drink a glass of everything they have to offer, but no, you have to move on and someone has to drive home.
As thrilling as it all was, one of the best parts was that we got to bring a wine importer home with us, and the next day he took us for a completely different sort of wine experience, Micro Wine. Stay tuned.