Ever eat at an upscale restaurant only to find yourself in the uncomfortable position of being the person to taste the wine? They uncork it and pour a tiny amount into your glass and then just stand there expectantly. I never know what to do in that situation. Thankfully I’ve learned how to fake it as of late.
First, you must make a display of examining the bottle. Remark out loud in a somewhat stuffy fashion about the maker and the year. When the small helping has been poured into your cup, check the color. If it is totally clear, it’s water, if it is any other color, it’s probably what you are looking for. Here comes the fun part, the swirl. Go crazy with this! Apparently the swirl releases the smells of the wine. My theory is that the harder you swirl, the more smell will come. I get pretty into this part; with considerable gusto, I swirl my glass until the contents almost reaches the rim, then my Mom slaps my hand and tells me to knock it off. But I’m not done yet, oh no. I proceed to the wine sniffing step. Observing the subtle smells and odors wafting out of my glass, I start to list off the smorgasbord of flavors I am smelling (that I had just read off the wine description in the menu).
It is time for the first sip. I saw in a movie that you’re supposed to slurp and so slurp I do (I tried to add a gargle once but it went down the wrong pipe and I coughed it up all over the table). After making as many offensive noises as I can muster I swallow the substance. “Excellent!” I declare knowingly. The waiter looks satisfied, slightly disgusted but satisfied nonetheless and dinner carries on.