Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I almost look like a pro, no?
Last week I went to a lunch organized by the winemakers of Cahors. Twenty-five crus to taste, lined up in orderly fashion on tables. I got my feet wet - my hand, too, with a few drops of wine that left a purplish tattoo for the rest of the day - and discovered a lot about the Malbec grape, which was kind of cool. At each table, I took my glass, poured some wine into it, sniffed, set the glass on the tabletop and swirled it vigorously, sniffed again, noted down a few things on my pad, then sipped, slurped, and spit. (Once, a bit of wine came splashing back out onto my eyelid; oops.) Afterward I added more comments to my pad.
Of course, I've spat before. Many a time. Into spit buckets, onto gravel cellar floors, and even onto a tree outside of Augé when they were holding their big Burgundy tasting last fall. But I have never spat so fully, so systematically, so, well, professionally. I was a scientist, here; a researcher and not a sybarite.
After the tasting was a lunch, and as I sat in front of my truffle risotto and swallowed the first sip of a 2005 Clos Troteligotte CQFD, my throat did something weird, something like a double-take. As though it were saying, "Hey, wait! This is going down." Yes, I had spitter's palate.
A serious first. But don't worry, I won't make it a habit.