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.