Wine Language Barrier

16 06 2012


On this trip, I have learned that there are some things I am good at and some things I am not so good at. This was evidenced at the Jean Leon Winery yesterday.

Things I am good at: wine tasting. I am very good at tasting all of the wine.

Things I am not good at: wine “matching”. We were given several different cheeses to try with several different (full) glasses of wine. Our guide said she had some questions so I volunteered because I thought maybe there was a prize involved and I like winning. So, she tells me to mix up the cheeses and drink them with the “non-paired wine”.

Guide (with a super sophisticated Spanish accent): “So now that you have sipped the Cabernet with the soft, organic, fresh goat cheese, tell me what you are experiencing.”

Me (mouth full, going for some more cheese): “Good. I am experiencing good.”

Guide: “No, no- can’t you feel the favors fighting in your mouth?”

Me (knowing I have to step it up): “Fighting? Um, it’s a good fight. I think they’re doing okay. No one is getting hurt.”

Guide: “No, no, no. The soft aroma of the cheese against the hard bite of the wine, the hints of blackberry and terra firma..”

Me: “Isn’t terra firma dirt?”

At this point, it was clear there was a language barrier, aka my lack of a wine language that goes beyond “This is amazing, pour me another”. So, I had her top me off and Ryan and I wandered through some vines to have our own little wine and cheese picnic. While sitting on some terra firma…


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