Kenny and I live in a beautiful, small Oregon town that is becoming known for its growing number of yummy wineries. As lovers of all things red and winey, we like to reserve Thursday evenings for our personal local winery tour, checking out tasting rooms around the valley.
This time we decided to drive up towards Mt. Hood to visit a local winery we hadn’t tried before. Quaint old Victorian house, with gorgeous landscaping and a majestic view of the mountain. Happily settling in, we were handed an extensive menu by the delightful young wine steward, eager to describe the glowing attributes of anything we pointed to. As we were making our choices, I asked him how people manage wine tours without becoming a driving hazard. He pointed to a metal bowl on the counter and replied, “You’re supposed to sip, swish, but then spit it out.”
ARE YOU NUTS?!?
First of all, public (and communal) spitting receptacles are just nasty, and secondly, I was raised with older brothers, so I’ve seen enough group hawking to last 2 lifetimes, and THIRDLY, the swish-and-spit thing is slightly reminiscent of a dental cleaning. Not to mention that while I’m swishing, you’re waxing on about the “beautiful ambiance, complex bouquet, and rich robustness, with just a hint of chocolate raspberry” of the fabulous wine that I’m NOT SUPPOSED TO SWALLOW?? Say hello to the point of wine drinking, you insolent pup. (Dear Winery, THIS is what happens when you hire 22-year-old beer drinkers to tend your wine bar.) I was just gearing up to ask young Edwardo when was the last time HE spit out his Pabst Blue Ribbon, but Kenny was stuffing me into the car, mumbling something about my “inability to conform.”
I have a better idea. We’ll hire a rooter bus with a paid, teetotalling driver, load up 30-40 wine-loving friends, and taste the wine like the good Lord intended. All the way to the toes.