On Becoming An Oenophile

First off; no, becoming an oenophile will not necessarily get you thrown in jail. An oenophile is a connoisseur of wine. Trust fancy winos to come up with a fancy word for themselves.

Anyway, I’ve been learning a bit about wine lately. I don’t expect that I’ll pursue it to oenophile status, but for what it’s worth I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far.

– When someone has their nose in a glass of wine and is talking about notes of blueberry and whatever, it is ok to ask “Do they put blueberries and whatever in it?” The connoisseur will be patient with your ignorance and simply answer “No.” with perhaps a hint of a condescending smile.

– It is not ok to follow that with the question “Then where do notes of blueberry and whatever come from?” That will get you a frown. I think the answer is that notes of this and hints of that are entirely in the imagination of the one whose nose is in the glass and real wine people don’t like their fantasies challenged.

Contrast this with scotch, where peatiness comes from actual peat fires used to dry the malted barley. This very real presence of peat phenols can lead to a very peaty scotch being described as tasting like ‘licking a campfire’.

– You know it was good wine if you’re pregnant after. With really good wine you may go directly into labour. Really! It happened to my brother. Hard to believe, I know.

They say “drink what you like”. I like scotch.

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