With education in mind, I’ve been asked to begin a series of columns devoted to the basics of wine knowledge. OK, basically I asked myself. You're never too old to learn. What qualifies me for this daunting task, you may well ask. Like I care what you think. Like anybody reads blogs. Like I wouldn’t exaggerate my qualifications just like you did when you applied for that miserable job you’re doing now in this crappy economy that’s about to collapse like a travel agent school. But since you asked, for nineteen years I was a sommelier. You can ask any other sommelier--I know everything there is to know about wine. Ask renowned sommelier, Rajat Parr (if he has a stroke, is he then Rajat Bogey?) I combine the absolute authority of Wikipedia with the brilliant insight of Glenn Beck. Only I would think to compare wine tasting groups to Hitler Youth. After all, both grow up to assign numbers.
Grapes are the berries produced by grapevines for the purpose of spreading their reproductive seeds via the intestinal tracts of animals. This is detectable on the nose of many wines. Grapevines are self-pollinating, and often embarrassed when caught at it. Interestingly, it’s those grapes caught self-pollinating that go on to make Blush wine.
Most authorities agree that there are at least two. Red and white. This ignores the most popular grape among wines that score fewer than 89 points--sour. OK, all kidding aside, there are approximately 6000 different varieties of Vitis vinifera made into wine in the world. Vitis vinifera is the botanical name for the European grape species that the great wines of the world are produced from. Literally translated, “Vitis vinifera” means “I’m vine, how are you?”
Scientists recently discovered a winery in Armenia that was 6000 years old. Surprisingly, a few amphorae of one of the original vintages were still intact and for sale. The “Reserve” had Cher’s picture on it.
Why do you swirl the wine in the glass?
Wine needs exposure to oxygen in order to release its aromatics. Sort of like a flasher. Swirling the wine in your cheap stemware is basically unzipping.