Over the years anyone wanting a glass of wine has possibly been put off by the snobbery that goes with it. It’s not just simply a ‘glass of wine’ – there were so many other factors to consider. The nose. The bouquet. The subtle infusions of fruit in the flavour. The colour. Etc etc, or that’s what we have been led to believe as essential in the enjoyment and savouring of wine. Or words to that effect.
Where did all this come from? Well, it has to be France, doesn’t it? The original wine-growers and connoisseurs of the modern age have thrust their standards and the mystique of wine upon the masses. Perhaps it was because only the wealthy and aristocratic were deemed noble enough to partake of the fruit of the vine. There was a divide between the “who coulds” and the “who couldn’ts.” This aura about enjoying wines has continued for centuries. Even to the extent that the more serious establishments serving wine will encourage to a greater or lesser degree the observation of the ritual of the selection, the opening, the serving and eventually, the tasting of the delicious liquid.
As a child I remember being treated to a dinner at a restaurant with parents and elder relatives when a splash of wine was tipped into the host’s glass (to taste of course). The first reaction from this newly-scrubbed-and-buttoned eight year old was, “is that all they’re giving you, dad?” The ritual was then briefly explained. The waiter cast a frosty glance in my direction when the question was put, “but what if you don’t like it. Do they bring another one?” Continue reading