25 November 2008

The Wine Academy

I like wine. I'm not fussy about it though. I can match up the right wine with the right kind of meal, but that's about as anal as I get with it. That's anal as in prissy, not as in bypassing the kidneys, people.

Last week, we were invited to a wine tasting party. I thought, "Well, that sounds fun," after I read the subject line. Then I read the emailed invitation (I've lovingly provided excerpts):

"Saturday...at 6:30." We can make that. Awesome. We'll foist The Boy Ask if Grammy and Pappy can watch The Boy.

"Semi-structured?" Wha? It's a party, correct? With wine. So we drink, eat, and someone says something stupid at some point so we can make fun of them. I guess that's what he means here: drink, eat, ridicule, repeat as necessary. Okay, got it.

"We will taste each of the 'big six' grapes as a group." Six? I thought there were red and white groups. I count two groups. If you throw seedless red and white into the mix I guess you squeak out four groups. Evidently I am undereducated in this department. I shall have to remember this for the next time it comes up in Jeopardy!.

"We will need wines...representative of the varietal" and "we don't want to end up with a bizarre Riesling." Whut? God forbid we end up with a bizarre Riesling (I'm betting that's one of those 'big six' though -- even I can pick this stuff up -- there's hope.) What makes a Riesling bizarre anyway? Does it have a thing for squash instead of other grapes? Perhaps it was caught with a raisin when it was young. I figure if they squish the little freak and make him into wine though, all better. It's not an issue for me.

"I've looked at all the wines at the liquor store." Dude, get a life.

"Bring a wine from the attached list." List? Where? Oh no, you did not attach a spreadsheet to the email. Oh. Yes. You. Did. Are you kidding me? I'm betting Ripple didn't make the list. Oh, at least now I know what the 'big six' are. I feel so enlightened now. I'll check that off my list of things to learn before I die.

"Again, this isn't going to be that formal" followed by "I need a syllabus." Not formal? What part of 'spreadsheet' followed by 'coordinated group tasting' with a discussion afterwards do you not get here? I've seen Catholic masses with less structure than this.

Ultimately, we decided to bail on our invite. Maybe I am a cretin, but I'm thinking a class on how to disassemble particle accelerators would have been more enjoyable. I'm sure the people that went had a wonderful time, blah, blah, blah, but really...wine, food, people mingling freely in my house, and the occasional, "How does that wine taste?" is all I need for a good wine tasting party.

 

 

57 comments:

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

FIRST!

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

OK, I'm back.

yeah, any party invitation that has "rules," "spreadsheets" and a list of things I have to choose from to purchase, um, I'm NOT GOIN.

Thanks anyway. I'll bust out my own $10 bottle of wine and rock it on my couch, without any assignments involved. Just as fun, less WORK. Which is what a party should be.

FUN=Party
Work=Work

Michelle said...

When I drink wine I skip the food. Wouldn't want it taking up space in my belly that I have reserved for all that grape goodness. Hmmm wine.
It nev er occured to me that thre was more than one kind of wine. Cab, that is all that's worth drinking. Right?

Braja said...

I'm thinking maybe a class on how to disassemble particle accelerators WITH wine involved, sounds like a match.

Khadra said...

Im so not good with rules on ANY occasion, I cant imagine going to a party with them. yuck.

Diane said...

I love wine. I love wine tastings. I love parties. I wouldn't have gone either.

gathering dust said...

what good is a wine tasting party if it doesn't ultimately lead to getting sloshed, saying stupid things, and making poor choices?

i would've skipped that too.

Cape Cod Gal said...

You have just inspired me to write about my experience at a wine tasting. I love going to them, but I always get so drunk. Not the most appealing thing when it's suppose to be a posh event

Maternal Mirth said...

Sounds like a lame-ass shin-dig, anyway.

We have wine parties ... they consist of unstructured hilarity and chugging straight out the box ... or bottle. No difference.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Personally I need a cool label, too. Check out my recommendation on today's post.

Bee said...

Fancy schmancy party! The parties I go to are the “corona or bud” type. Sometimes we go a little crazy and invite miller too. With some tequila for dessert.

JaxPop said...

"Bizarre Riesling" - Who was throwing that shindig - Thurston Howell the 3rd (or would that have been Thirstin')??? I would have gone just so I could go into a John Belushi act - take a big gulp, spit it back in the glass & ask what kind of swill they were serving. Pissing off a snobby host - THAT would be the start of a party! Maybe I woulda donated a coupla bottles of Pee-No Greezeeo, that'd take care of snobby pallets.

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

That's why I love my friends, cause a Heniken is a fancy drink to them. : )

Stephanie said...

But wouldn't it have been fun to bring some Franzia in the box? Maybe some Boone's Farm?

Cameron said...

Yeah, I don't blame you on the pass. My idea of a wine tasting is, "Hey, grab another bottle, we just finished this one off....burp."

Comedy Goddess said...

You could've just phoned it in. Or had your driver bring something quietly amusing over. Or your PA run to a few distinctive wine merchants in other towns to compile an unpretentious selection from which the hosts could choose, and then donate the rest to some charitable organization for wine enthusiasts without wine cellars of their own.

Least that's what I did the last time I was invited to this kind of party.

Laurels word said...

The last time I got invited to a party with "rules" was instructions that clothes were required. That's about as good as my people get. Our wine tastings consist of drinking wine until it's all gone and no one can drive to get more. I wouldn't have gone either. Pretentious people give me a hangover.

HeatherPride said...

Well, I probably would have gone, but only if they were serving the "good" Ripple.

Also, you have a Grammy and Pappy too? My parents are Grammy and Pappy - I thought they were the only ones!

Tara said...

Wine is for quaffing. End of.

That's what our party invites read!

Casey said...

I don't like wine. *gasp* Good choice bailing on the party, you can drink some wine in a relaxing atmosphere where you're not expected to perform. Uhm, that didn't come out right.

jori-o said...

I don't drink so I can only tell you if I like the Martinelli's or Sparling Welch's better. =)

Heinous said...

Petra: I'm with you all the way on that.

Michelle: Say, that not eating thing sounds good.

Braja: I'll bring the wine.

Khadra: Nope, me neither. Save it for sports people.

Diane: It's terrible when they screw up a good thing, isn't it?

g.d: One of these days I'll show those people how to have fun.

CCG: I'll look forward to that.

MM: That's the right way to do it.

Meg: Cool labels = mo' better taste. It's proven.

Bee: Tequila goes with everything.

Jaxpop: I've always wanted to replay the restaurant scene from the Blues Brothers. I wonder if they had shrimp?

Sarah: It's the international flair.

Stephanie: It would have. They could have raved about its bouquet.

goddess: lol...where I live, there are no distinctive anythings.

Laurel: That's perfect. Ah, the good old days when clothes weren't required...oh wait. never mind.

Heather: Is there a bad Ripple? My side is grammy and pappy, her side is mam-mam and pap-pap.

Tara: I'm stopping by your next one.

Casey: If I'm relaxing at home with wine, I may be expected to perform...

Heinous said...

jori-o: We'll stock up on that for you :)

Cat said...

Uh, no. No way would I willingly attend something that combines "wine" and "rules" or "lists of wine", and dammit! What if I like bizarre reisling? What the fuck does that mean, anyway? Good call not going. You're better off sticking your mouth under the tap of a box of wine. That would be more fun.

Sprite's Keeper said...

I imagine you'll be graded at the end. Just breathe into the tube. Here, you DON'T want the higher score.

goodfather said...

We have a wine out here on the West Coast called '2 Buck Chuck' - it's a Charles Shaw wine you can get at Trader Joe's. THAT would be what I would have taken ;).

Blarney said...

Okay ~ first I lived in wine country and the whole red for red and white for white is over rated ... wine snobs do that to impress themselves if I say so myself. Second ~ if you have to do more work than raising your glass to your mouth at a wine tasting it's a scam with a snooty wine host. Third ~ the only thing I find wrong with wine tasting is when my glass is empty ... it happens way to often. ;)

Blarney said...

Sorry ~ one last thought ... 2 buck chuck ROCKS!

Krystal said...

Not a fan of wine here - too many headaches - now a Margarita or Mojito tasting party? You can count me in on that one!! OOOOHH a Martini party too - funny how I only drink when I am out to dinner with Hubby and that is always just 1 drink - you would think I was al alchie by the way I "talk"

Me, You, or Ellie said...

You should have gone. And you should have brought Mad Dog.

Ellie

Kat said...

Have you seen the movie "Sideways"?
Best line- "No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any f-ing Merlot!"

justsomethoughts... said...

y'know, if i had a dollar for every time i've been called a bizarre riesling...
i'm with you on the more enlightened version of a wine party though. good people. good wine. good food. good times. and a little cheese if they happen to have any...

Heather said...

Is champagne one of the big six? Cos if it is I'm in!

Heinous said...

Cat: I'm thinking bizarre Riesling would liven things up.

Jen: Graded? No, that's like work.

goodfather: damn, that stuff sounds good.

Blarney: Here's to a never empty glass.

Krystal: I like parties where you get to taste everything.

Ellie: Wow, I had forgotten all about mad dog. There's a night to write about...

Kat: I've been meaning to see that. Now that you recommend it, I'll have to.

jst: Cheese goes with everything.

Heather: I'll allow that.

Captain Dumbass said...

Wine snobs are assholes. Does it taste good? Would you buy it again? Then it's good. End of story.

April said...

good call dude. seriously, good call.

Michele said...

You get invited to all the best parties. (whiny voice). Wine tasting should be fun or what's the point? I'd have been a no show also and we all know that I take my wine seriously.

steenky bee said...

As long as you don't drink it from a box, then you're fine. Actually, some of that stuff is tasty, scratch that. All wine is delicious. Well, except for the strawberry kind. Also, someone washed your blog in bleach. It's all faded and stuff.

steenky bee said...

But let me just add, just like that wine stain on my favorite khakis, you, Heinous, will never, ever fade.

Tony said...

I'm not cultured, so I wouldn't be comfortable at one of these - it's like watching tennis, I just can't do it.

Lola said...

Well, wine is my life force. I've staggered out of many a wine tasting, because I refuse to spit unless it's just disgusting, and I've learned very little in terms of wine snobbery.

I know what I need to know, which is I know what I like. I hate rules, and I hate listening to pretentious people discuss the tabaccos and the tannins and the nose. It's torture! Drink it, and if you like it, drink some more.

You made the RIGHT decision, man!

Red Cup Mom said...

Whoa. Glad you stayed home. That sounded terrible spreadsheet and all. Geez. You did good opting out and blogging about it instead.

Mike said...

This may sound low class...but if it makes you feel whoozy inside it is good alcohol!

Kylie w Warszawie said...

Okay, I must be a bit of a snob. I like Shiraz or Syrah (they're the same grape). I can sound really smart and pompous by throwing that line out there.

But that's it. I know nothing about the wines that I don't like.

I would never go to a wine tasting though, because I'm pretty sure you just "swirl and spit" and what's the point of drinking alcohol if you're just going to spit it out?

Kat said...

Warning about the movie "Sideways", it is really slow, I liked it, but my mom didn't. It did win an Academy Award tho...

Mama Dawg said...

You know, if it cost more than $10, I'm outta there.

The Stiletto Mom said...

What? No Boonesfarm? Screw that!

My basic requirements are: it's cold, it has a cork, there is a glass present.

I am so late to this particular party...my stalking skills are fading I think.

Pearl said...

This is why I stick to beer!
Peark

Heinous said...

Cap'n: I'll drink to that.

April: Thanks. I know I'll never look back with regret.

Michele: Yeah, lucky me ;)

Jen: Yeah, now if I could just get my blog to look the way I want....

Tony: Me neither.

Lola: Exactly. Spitters are quitters. Maybe that quote wasn't about wine...

Jen: I'm lucky he didn't know I had a blog. He never would have invited me.

Kylie: I know, it's like alcoholic bulimia.

Kat: I can deal with slow.

MD: I'll go to 12 if I'm feeling special ;)

Mary Anne: I don't even need a cork. I've been way off my stalking lately too.

Pearl: I've been known to as well. Thank you for coming by.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

I have spent 57 years artfully avoiding whine tastings. In the ensuing years I have discovered there is good plonk and bad plonk, both are palatable, but then there are the bad plonks further divided in the kerosene category, that's rough, I'd even go a bizarre riesling.

AV
http://netherregionoftheearthii.blogspot.com/
http://tomusarcanum.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

There are only two types of wines - 1. The white stuff (a.k.a. spritzers) that you serve to men called Robert; 2. The red stuff (real wine)like cabernet, that you eat along with that nice read-meat selection you ordered. The red that makes you get lippy with the waiter. Then you haggle with the rest of your dinner party to see who drives you home!

Vodka Mom said...

fuck the wine. I'll take vodka.

Vodka Mom said...

AND......How the hell did I miss this post????? jesus, I'm getting old.

Heinous said...

AV: I'll take it over no riesling.

Anon: That red sounds fun.

Deb: w00t! I knew you were my kind of girl.

Lola said...

Amen. Spitters are quitters!!!!!

Jamie said...

I don't think my beer drinking friends would attach a spreadsheet to a party invite unless it was a break down of the beer pong teams.

Heinous said...

Lola: You're invited to my next party.

Jamie: I used to be pretty good in my day. Let me know when the next tournament starts.