Saturday, February 13, 2016


No one knows less about wine than the kind of person who would go to a tasting.  

After a death in my family, I had some legal documents that needed to be signed by a hospital administrator. While waiting in the outer office, I noticed a stack of tickets to a “charity event.” Because the official was “unexpectedly delayed” for over 50 minutes, I slipped one of the passes into my file folder. I think that the return envelope requested a minimum four-figure donation, but since the medical industry had already swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the insurance company for my sister’s incompetent treatment, I thought that I was owed a little something.

I deserved a little fun. So there I was with an invitation to an “exclusive gathering” without any proper clothing. I knew enough to understand that only a middle-class minion would actually wear a new suit to a “society event,” so I headed to the nearest thrift store for some quality apparel. Nothing screams upper class like a slightly frayed camel hair jacket and a bow tie. I gave my hair a needed trim with the shaver attachment – and, by nightfall, I looked completely like a Flemish faggot. (I also took a tablet of Mexican propranolol to minimize normal anxiety around so many fairies and foodies.) 

After presenting my ticket to security with a scowl and a curt nod, I was unshed into the hall. I never could afford to set foot into the place in the best of times … but there I was – in the presence of the local “high and mighty.”  God damn, my very bowels were awed at the throng. However, no matter how luxurious the surroundings, I quickly became bored out of my mind with all the talk of retirement options and Caribbean vacations, so I thought I would have a good laugh when the wine was poured.

I loudly claimed to discover a “hint of Meyer lemon” in the first vintage – actually, I couldn’t detect anything of the sort; it just tasted like fermented grape juice to me. But – wouldn’t you know – some other assholes immediately claimed that they could distinguish the same citrus flavor. Next round, I noticed that others were watching me with expectation, so I claimed to find a “suggestion of freshly harvested pineapple” – and, miracle of miracles, so did everyone else. The truth, of course, is that the second glass of white wine tasted absolutely identical to the first – but when I claimed that the flavor was “astonishing,” so did the cocksuckers around me.

I immediately decided that the third offering would be “disappointing” before even taking a sip. I made some appropriate facial movement and delivered my verdict. Since I established myself as bit of an authority, I didn’t need to give any explanation – just slowly twirled the stem of the glass below my nose. Naturally, the oenophiles went out of their way to agree with my assessment. No matter how preposterous my assertion about a glass of wine that evening, the experts in my circle always were in “profound agreement.” In reality, just about the only thing impactful any of those types ever felt was what might have been shoved up their anus.

No human being is as much a conformist as a gourmet who claims to have a refined palate. Nobody is easier to con than a connoisseur. No one is easier to fool than an art expert. No professional is easier to deceive than an acknowledged authority.

Take my advice: if you are tasting “subtle hints” of raspberry and chocolate in a glass of wine, then you are only imagining things – or, perhaps, ought to be evaluated for an aggressive brain tumor. The only ingredient that has gone into that bottle of wine is grapes – and maybe the occasional rodent that got caught in the hopper. Grape juice is all that is you are actually getting in your mouth – and don’t pretend otherwise. It’s unseemly.

Don’t blame me; my taste is fucking exquisite.




  1. That was a great read MMS. Well done.

  2. I too have been to ghastly wine-tastings with utterly banal rich folk some of whom couldn't tell a pinot gris from a pinot noir. But you're wrong about the tastes of raspberry, chocolate, lemon, etc. It's a matter of the number of taste-buds you possess. Some people have as few as a couple of hundred, while others have tens of thousands. Champagne, for example, usually tastes of insipid lemon with fizz. But good champagne (e.g. Krug) tastes slightly 'toasty' or 'biscuity'. Good red wines (which can be as cheap in Europe as $4) can taste plummy, blackcurranty, chocolatey...and the famous raspberry flavour is a way of identifying a famous light wine grown just north of the Loire.

    Much worse than the fakery involved in wine-tastings are the diktats involving the foods they are supposed to accompany. In my opinion very few wines go with cheese because the flavours fight each other. Mackerel (but not smoked) and a decent Burgundy are an excellent pairing (I speak as a vegetarian fairy and Irish faggot.)

    What is more, no-one seems to know that you can improve a bottle of crappy wine by mixing it with a different wine. I do this quite often in France, and the results can be amazing. It's all a matter of taste-buds, experimentation, and refusal to buy into the religious doctrine of the wine-snobs.

    In the British Isles at the moment one can buy an excellent Chilean Malbec for $8 from a well-known German supermarket chain. It is better than many French, Californian or Australian wines at three times the price. In France I regularly buy wines for $3 or less reduced in price because they are considered "too old". Wines are being drunk younger and less mature simply to get cash in as quickly as possible.

    As in most things aesthetic, wine much more complicated than simple snobbery and pretence.

    Yours loathing Michelangelo, Rubens, Picasso, Kandinsky and Koons...

  3. Was the hospital administrator there?

  4. Take your advice? Who the hell takes advice?

    1. Who? The kind of people that would pay good money to be seen at a charity event.

  5. Yeah I'm pretty sure the whole wine world is, more or less, a fabrication rooted in bullshit.

  6. Señor Mean,
    Well you have not forgotten how to socialize. Are you going to sue the hospital? Take care. Raúl from Paraguay

    1. A very perceptive comment, Raúl – I do indeed have some legal action in the works. Sometimes the threat of going to trial can accomplish more than actually taking the bastards to court.