‘And the wine tasted like grapes - unusual, this: most wine tastes grassy or hyacinthy or beechy or plasticiny or nasturtiumy or gitaney or moron-on-food-and-drink showy.’
This opener to a wine list at a restaurant one visited recently – attributed to Jonathon Meades writing in the Times, 1994 – brought a smile to my face.
After taking part in another wine tasting session this week I started to lose count of how many words those in the know use to describe the alcoholic grape juice.
I’m being facetious of course, for I know that wine is far more complex than that. It’s crisp, clean, deep, dense, earthy, elegant... The list goes on.
Before accompanying The Boy to an ‘Introduction to Wine Tasting’ event at Christmas, one believed there were two types of vino: red and white. Oh, and I suppose rose for those who can’t make their minds up.
Wine tasting seemed something of a trivial pursuit, suitable only for certain members of society.
Those who looked and sounded like Jilly Goolden perhaps. Nowadays, however, it seems to be everywhere and open to the masses.
One doesn’t have to fork out enough for a small vineyard to have a go. Supermarket giant Tesco, those modern-day providers of just about everything, have their own take on the trend, and have started taking wine tasting to the consumer.
That’s right, a new trial sees them bring the wine to you. Ten tastings are set to be held around the country this summer, taking place in community spaces and private homes.
Companies including Virgin have been offering wine tasting sessions in homes for some time.
I must admit, I’m thoroughly enjoying this try before you buy philosophy. This week’s event at the local wine shop was yet another freebie.
After a quick refurb, the store hosted a free evening session, with a number of bottles on offer.
Thinking it rude not to show ones support to independent shops in the community, The Boy and I spent a happy hour or two perusing the new selection, washing down some complimentary tapas with a few glasses of Rioja.
And how was it? Full bodied, medium strength, with a definite hint of... Grapes. Just how I like it.