As of today, you can legally buy wine in McMinnville for the first time ever after voters overwhelmingly approved grocery store wine sales during a referendum this past November.
Beginning today around noon, you can walk into Kroger and get a bottle of white or a bottle of red and become an amateur wine connoisseur and perhaps someday even become an accomplished sommelier provided your palate is mature enough.
As for me, I’ll pass. All the stuff tastes like furniture polish to me. I’ll leave the wine drinking to those more sophisticated than I as my pallet is better suited for Dr Pepper than an Opus One (retail price for the Napa Valley Red, vintage 2011 is a measly $3,999 per bottle).
I suppose I’m just a hayseed when it comes to having an educated palate. As a matter of fact, spellcheck had to catch my faulty spelling of the word itself as I tried to use the spelling “pallet” instead of “palate.”
Given my lack of appreciation for fine wine, seeing I’m sure I would dislike a $5 box of wine as much as I would dislike that Opus One I talked about, I decided to do some research on wine making and tasting.
I found it interesting to learn the taste of the wine comes directly to the grape from which it is made. The amount of rainfall the vineyard has during a certain year can directly impact the taste of the wine and expert wine tasters can name the year of the wine just through those gentle notes when they taste it.
So, how exactly does one taste wine? Frankly, I was born tasting things without need for any education on how to do so. I can still recall my first taste of paste in preschool. It needed salt.
However, there’s an entire cycle of how one is supposed to taste wine. There are four steps, according to information I’ve gotten off the internet, with the first step happening before you even pour it in your glass. You are supposed to let some wines breathe before you drink them by pouring them into a decanter.
Actually, tasting is on down the list. To properly “enjoy” your wine, you are next supposed to look at it. That’s right, expert wine tasters first look at it, checking for the color, opacity and viscosity. I’ll have to remember to do that next time I have some grape Kool-Aid. Maybe there are some subtle bouquets I’m missing.
Next you must smell the wine. That’s right. Get your nose down in it and sniff it in. You drink with your nose first, experts say. If that be the case, I’d be one heck of a drinker given the size of my honker.
And last, but not least, you are to taste the wine. Finally. But don’t swallow it, you ape. First swirl it around in your mouth and let it hit all of your 8,000 taste buds in your mouth. Then, after you’ve finished swishing it around you may at last swallow.
Folks, I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of work for a drink.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.