5 Types of People to Avoid at Wine Tastings

Wine tasting is a group activity, largely. No matter how reserved and introverted one may be, most of the time you will be tasting wine as a part of a group of people sharing a desire to experience vinous pleasure and/or gain indescribable amounts of knowledge about things winey.

Those of us who partake in such collective tastings, albeit at your suburban wine-club, a media-tasting arranged by the winery’s public relations department or a presentation by an international visitor from European wine royalty, will know that tasting in groups can have its pit-falls. Yes, these be the one or three individuals sharing the tasting-table who knowingly or unknowingly succeed in making the occasion an experience best forgotten.

The following five types are best avoided:

The Scented One

Most people who know anything about wine are aware of the rule stating that you do not attend a tasting of any kind smelling like a Parisian call-girl who has squirted each one of Galeries Lafayette’s perfume samples on her body in an attempt to mask the sweaty residual of her lunch-time activities. Yet, in this day and age one still arrives at a wine event where you have to negotiate three flights of delicate white and red wines while your contact-lenses keep falling out due to the cloud of perfumed scent wafting from the other side of the room. Ladies are most to blame due to the inner arousal created by the displaying of a new perfume, although a male wine writer who has just received an advance payment allowing him to buy the latest Aramis Cologne, he also makes for off-putting aromas.

The Wise Guy – or Girl

The Wise One is unable to sniff and taste any wine without offering an unsolicited comment or appraisal to those at his or her tasting-table. “Hmm…bit of acidification going on here,” they will whisper before asking you if you “also think the lees-contact shows a bit of a heavy-hand during the batonage?” You yourself are well honoured to be residing in this thin, rare air of superior knowledge created by the Wise One. But these intrusive murmurings disturb your modest attempts to concentrate in the same way a lazy black fly breaks your attention by landing on your lower lip. Of course, the Wise One will never openly convey his or her uncannily astute observations about the wine to the winemaker or the host leading the tastings, preferring to drop those pearls of wisdom where the workings of the brilliant mind cannot be questioned.


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