I do not know anything much about wine in a grown up sense – i.e. when I am with a group of people who sniff the glass before tasting, then nod and narrow their eyes, I feel a rising sense of panic.
Last night was one such night and we were dining with the very cool Makansutra crew. The wine – as ever – was proper, with labels (indeed entire bottles) masked by tinfoil. This time I knew better than to bring a bottle of Cloudy Bay from the supermarket and between slurps managed to scribble down a cheat sheet so that I can be more prepared the next time I have to sounds knowledgable during a blind tasting.
It turns out there are only about four questions you need to ask or answer when taking wine (let’s please assume that you have managed to ascertain successfully whether it’s red or white!)
Old world or new world?
Which country? If it’s old world we are talking France, Spain, Italy more or less. If it’s French, specifically a Bordeaux, you then need to ask ‘left bank’ or ‘right bank’ (which always makes me thing of Parisienne shopping districts but H assures me it’s with reference to the Gironde river).
Then it’s a question of vintage: what year?
Then it you really want to show off, guess which vineyard.
Glasses at these dinners are always stemless Riedel, as pictured above, which are brilliant when you’re leaning over the table and helping yourself to shared dishes as they rarely get knocked over. I’ll be adding them to my growing Peter Jones shopping list, as well as a Bluffer’s Guide to Wine if it hasn’t already turned up in my Christmas stocking.
The dinner venue last night was the delicious and rather obscure (but I’d go back again) Parco Caffe, 10 Raeburn Park.