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Wine Sediments

Wellfed5_8I have an off-beat post on the Wine Sediments portion of the Well Fed Network today.  When I sat down to write it I had a cup of coffee and nary a notion of what was going to come out—part of the fun is I usually have an idea of what I’m going to write, but I never outline it.  My editor, I’m sure, loves this because I usually submit a draft that is somewhere in between version 1 and version 1.5 when in fact, version 3 is probably decent enough to publish. 

Tongue firmly in cheek, I wrote a column on remainly appropriately unapproachable at wine tasting parties—the parties are a phenomenon that is attracting the likes of Mr. & Mrs. Joe Average.  Which, really, leads me to the notion that maybe I am a bit of a wine snob.  Eek. 

You can find the post here.

In related news to the wine tasting parties, I’ve been in house cleaning mode in order to get myDrinking_smoking_screwing_1 bachelor pad ready to sell so my wife and I can move to a house a little more accomodating the development of a family.  Interestingly, I found a book that I had forgotten about called, "Drinking, Smoking, Screwing."

It offers short stories and essays from notable writers on the vices in our life.  And, Art Buchwald wrote a short and funny essay in 1954 on having wine at a dinner party.  With full attribution to Mr. Buchwald, I’m appending the entire, short essay below. 

                                  Some Heady Phrases on Wine

Art Buchwald

1954

The problem of besting your friends atwine talk becomes increasingly difficult. It isnt enough to drinkwines—you must be able to talkabout them, if not intelligently, at leastat length. Alexis Lichine, who wrote a book called “Wines of France,"and who is up to his neck in the wine, has given us some provocative phrases that can be used at thedinner table, either in your own home or as a guest in the home of a friend.

If youre serving wine in your own home Mr.Lichine advises you to be very modest. When the bottle is put on table, apologize to your guests. "Illhave to beg your pardon," you might say, "but this isa small, red wine, inconsequential, withhardly any character." If your guests contradict you, startbuilding slowly. After tasting it, remark to some one, "Inspite of everything, I do believe some breed,even if it hasnt hit its pinnacle." If no takes the bait, go a peg higher. "Youknow something, I believe this wine is declaring itself. Why yes, it certainlyis. It does have manifestations of greatness at.” By this time, if your remarks still go unheeded, let out all stops. "The French consider this wine as one of most magnificent sovereigns. Theylaughingly call it the Napoleon of Burgundies. Its a pity it has to be wasted h clods."

Drinking wine in some one else’s homeis a much easier problem The host is alwayslooking for compliments and if yourenot careful, some of the sillier people at the table may start giving them.

The thing to remember is always bepolite. After tasting the wine a comment like this might be used, "Yes, itdoes have a pleasingshimmer. Isnt it too bad the nose doesnt live up to thecolor for it could have been a big, stout boy." Dontlet up just because youve won the first engagement. You couldcontinue by saying, "How sad it didnt come fromnoble soil, because Im sure it might have taken on a prestige ofits own. Yes, I’ve seen it hap-pen, time and time again, with underprivilegedwines." Or ifyou wish, "Its provocative, Im sure, but Iwouldnt dareput it up against a Haut Brion." Or, "What adelightful name. It almost tastes domestic in flavor."

When speaking of vintages, never referto a wine as 1935 or 1936.Always drop the nineteen and refer to them as thirty-fours, thirty-fives, thirty-nines, etc. Learn the names of afew rare wines and throw them around as much as you can. If you can associatethem with a good Frenchrestaurant, it always helps. For example, never say, "I like a Margaux." Itsmuch better to reminisce, "I remember a Margaux I once had atthe Grand Vefour in forty-six. What a noble lunch that was."

Never refer to "wine, woman andsong" in front of connoisseurs. Next to wine, the other two are soinferior they should not be mentioned in the same breath.

It may be useful when talking aboutwine to know that Bordeaux comes in slim bottles and Burgundy in squat ones.This always impresses.

When ordering wines in restaurants, study the card for a long time evenif you don’t understand what you’re reading. Cluck occasionally, and then turn to the som­melier and ask himto advise you on what to order. Never accept his first suggestion. He istesting you, and you dont want to lose face.

Always carry a vintage chart with you.If youre not sure of the best wine years, take the wine card to thewashroom and check it against your vintage chart.

When drinkingchampagne, always make a remark about the bubbles. You can either take the sidethat you like the bubbles, or that youre against them. Our favoriteline on this subject is, "I like champagne—because it always tastes like my foot’sasleep."

What is really interesting to me is the fact that this was written over 50 years ago.  Truly, the more things change, the more they stay the same.



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Comments

On 01/07, cilt bakimi wrote:

firmly in cheek, I wrote a column on remainly appropriately unapproachable at wine tasting parties—the parties are a phenomenon that is attracting the likes of Mr. & Mrs. Joe Average.  Which, really, leads me to the notion that maybe I am a bit of a wine snob.  Eek.

On 01/07, cilt bakimi wrote:

news to the wine tasting parties, I’ve been in house cleaning


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