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News From the Court of Natural Sommeliers
The Court of Natural Sommeliers is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications from qualified people in the wine trade who wish to pursue their N.S. There are currently 256 Natural Sommeliers in the world—220 are women, 30 are men, and the other six are wine writers, about whom no one is certain. Candidates who are accepted into the program are expected to pass three exams. There is the Practical Exam, where candidates blind taste six wines in front of a panel and then carefully wash the feet of their N.S. proctors. There is an oral exam that guarantees the candidate has the correct amount of teeth. And, finally, there is the service exam—a rigorous testing of the candidate’s ability to properly open a bottle of natural wine tableside, as well as demonstrate utter contempt for a customer who brings his own bottle of unnatural wine to the table. Candidates must pass all three exams within three years and never once smirk.
I'm about to stand for my oral exam for the N.S. degree, but, dammit, I'm missing a couple of teeth. I bit my wife yesterday, and it turns out I'm Gummo Marks. Nevertheless, I still receive the Court's occasional newsletter, which I've posted over at Tim Atkin's site. (I recently met Tim Atkin MW for the first time--a story for another time.) You'll have to cyberleap over there to read the rest of the news from the Court of Natural Sommeliers. Oh, it's fascinating!
TIM ATKIN MW
"candidates blind taste six wines in front of a panel and then carefully wash the feet of their N.S. proctors. "
Do they have to be able to discern which aroma came from the wines and which came from the feet?
"Sexual lubricants"....ah ha! That explains a lot. All along those wine academics had me thinking it was silky tannins....hey....there's an idea...."Silky Tannins Lube"
Ron, you've done it again. Now I will have to go away from my desk and walk around our warehouse to make certain that we've segregated the natural and orange wines from the multiple rows and pallets of swill that keeps showing up there. I can't explain it, but for some reason, that stuff sells! Obviously, there are far too many people who aren't using their noses properly and - clearly - they haven't invested in the proper Riedel glasses.
Oh Ron, you and your acronyms. Love it.
Man, the Anosmia family strikes again! I wonder how a thanksgiving dinner at their house might be...
Sorry for my prolonged silence. Busy, and, as always, content to lay low.
Cris, good for you. You caught the acronym. And, David, I originally used Larry's name, but then remembered I'd said the C.O.N.S. group was heavily female (a nice switch from the heavily male, and determined to be that way, Master Somms), so I changed it to Mary. Mary's the smarter of the two.
It's coming to the point, I think, of wine certifications when they'll become more specialized. People love degrees and letters after their names, and no one likes to feel better about themselves than natural wine folks. I'm sure one of those bozos will start a natural wine certification program. I do not disagree with their philosophy about wine, not much at all. But their self-righteousness, and the proclamations they make that are demonstrably wrong, make them fun targets. Plus, I love that many of them hate me.
I wish wine were a bigger subject for me to tackle. It's hard to write satire about such an essentially boring subject. Or it's hard for me, anyway, which might be a different discussion. I always feel like I go to the natural wine well too often. But, I guess, they just make it so easy...and I'm lazy. The perfect combo.
There's one bastion to satirize that you have yet to touch on, and that is the Common Taters. I'll fall on the sword, it's only fair since I brought up the idea.
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