Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I intake wine in very small quantities, very infrequently. Especially now that I drive, I've seen even less of the stuff than previously. A little vino looks good at the right occasion on the table, but generally, I'll pass on it if offered. My past experience with alcohol isn't a happy one: just a tiny amount of beer makes me puke my guts out, vino knocks me right out.

With this past history in mind, I signed up for the Wine Appreciation session Linc organized for the staff this afternoon. He promised cheese and crackers in between sips of a few different wines, plus I believed I would be in good, jovial company, so I couldn't resist paying $40 for the experience.

I honestly didn't expect to be impressed with the wine selection. Don't all wines taste the same? No they don't, as it turned out. For every bottle opened, I accepted enough to wet the bottom of my glass, but also enough to savour the different aromas and tastes of the New World wines the supplier brought.

Guess as an inexperienced drinker, I liked the lighter wines better: the sauvignon blanc and the merlot; while I poured away most of the shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. Taste-wise the latter were too tart for my mouth to enjoy. The surprise was the last bottle, an expensive, award-winning Old World Italian wine. In an instant, I learned that expensive wines taste expensive, and I understood why people would pay money for a good bottle. This one would have been a waste to pour away, so what I couldn't drink, B-lo cheerfully finished off for me.

The cheese that Linc bought also kept us good company. The cheddar was standard, but the spiced cheese, brie and camembert went well with the Carrs (both regular and peppered) as always. Fun as it was to crunch cheese and crackers between refills of wine, I'm glad we paced ourselves so that our supplies lasted the entire afternoon.

Oddly enough, all that vino didn't affect me like it usually does. I didn't drink much, but combining the 6 bottles we sampled, I must have consumed more than half a glass, the amount of which usually puts me right out. Guess it must be due to the pace we were going at: swirl, sniff, sip, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, sample cheese, sample cracker, sample cheese and cracker, sip some more, repeat a couple more rounds, then we're ready for the next bottle.

Our $40 fee also bought us a bottle of merlot and a bottle of shiraz to take home. Think they'll make nice Christmas gifts for the right people.

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