One would think these are highly unrelated topics but believe it or not all this has to do with a wine tasting which I was invited to! Yes my friends I feel quite hoighty toighty as I type these words cos finally have managed to have a glimpse into the how the richer half lives.
I am sure it was an complete accident that I was invited, since it is not every day you are invited to something like this I made sure I went for it even though I generally don't step out of the house on a Saturday. It was with anxiety that i stepped into the lovely house of DJ as I did not know what (or who) to expect. Fortunately for me there were people I knew and they were a nice and friendly crowd.
I was expecting a few bottles of wine to be passed around and drunk and nothing more but instead I walked into the setting of a full scale presentation. There was a projector and sound system set up and a guy actually made a formal presentation giving us an insight into the complex world of wine appreciation. .
I was expecting to be bored a bit and get drunk but amazingly it turned out to be an evening which was not only entertaining but educational as well. The guy who made the presentation new his stuff from food to wines and it was really interesting to see him in action. Also he used a lot of local examples to make his point clear. One of which was that pathola hodi will never be able to replace Kiri Hodi with string hoppers because our palate is not used to the combination. It is the same with choosing the right wine for your meal. And the reference to tea was about the kahata which is similar to the dryness of a wine.
Let me highlight some of the other nuggets of information I learnt for everyone’s benefit.
*A dry wine means it has no sugar and therefore even can be enjoyed by diabetics. All this time I had thought you had to wipe the bottle and glass extra hard to ensure there was no moisture.
*The normal grapes you get in Supermarkets are called dessert grapes and cannot be used for making wine. In fact there is a special breed of grapes called Vitis Vinifera which all wines are made of. And Merlot and Chablis and all other wines red or white are sub species.
*That you can make a white wine with red grapes (by removing the skin) but cannot make a red wine with white grapes. (Unless you get one of our goons who chew beetle and ask him to spit into it I suppose – this is the thought which crossed my mind but I refrained from sharing this with everyone for the greater good)
*That White wine is best enjoyed at 8 degrees Celsius and red at 18. In warm climates you need to put the wine in the fridge about an hour before to make it cooler and if you want to maintain the temperature keep the wine in iced water instead of ice cubes.
*A wine has legs which what the trails left in the glass once you swirl it are called. And believe it or not long legs mean higher alcoholic content.
*There is something called Chilled wines where the grapes are crushed when they are frozen which means the water in the grape is not extracted therefore the wine is fruitier and sweeter.
*That wines which are capped are not necessarily bad wines and also it has to be drunk within two years from the date of manufacture
*That taste is 80% aroma and 20% smell to illustrate this point we were asked to eat a mint while holding our noses. And it was absolutely true.
Many wine bottles were open as the presentation was made and I did have a glass or two but to be honest I don’t drink that much wine and I prefer sweet wine. And my palate was not refined enough since I am generally an arrack and coke man.
After the wine tasting this guy actually tossed a Cesar salad and a pasta and we had a barbecue dinner which was excellent. I limited my drinks to just two glasses of wine as I did not want to be copped. But it was a pleasant evening and I realized that I actually have learnt quite a lot not bad for a night out where I expected to get piss drunk.