Saturday, March 19, 2011

A girl's opinion on wines and lettuce leaves: Part 1

I ought to be ashame of myself. After a month of bloggings with more than 20 post (and million edits!) I still haven't posted anything about vegetables yet! It's all about  meat , sweets and things deep fried! An epitome of how to get  latent diabetes and Arteriosclerosis before 30.... Well I guess every foodie has his/her Achilles' heel. I, as a matter of fact got two.  One for each limb, I suppose.

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The first is being ignorant when it comes to alcoholic beverages . Of course, I had my share of drink-anything-with-spirit-era during college days. Booze which are   usually  cheap and what my barely-there student allowance  could afford. It's a miracle that  I and my friends and classmates  manage to graduate without experiencing alcohol coma after all those dusk til dawn drinking. Oooh how good it was to be young, carefree  and tax-less.  Well that was ages ago and  dinasours still roamed the earth.  After graduation however, I simply stop sipping anything with alcohol in it. Gone were the days of getting  drunk and wasted  after exam. The girl sobered up and stayed that way.

When people grow up  mature , then they are slowly exposed to the beauty of anything refine.For example, wine especially good ones is such an indulgence and could be enjoyed as much as good food.The art of wine tasting for instance, is part  mezmering and  part foreign to me.  I always throw a conspicuous glance at this when occasion allows, somehow hoping that one day I would learn the art. Since I don't drink (anymore), I guess it's a long forgotten dream. But at least, I still enjoy looking at people  who knows and could do it and love listening to what they have to say. While dining out, I notice that  a service crew often gives recommendations. The head of the family, the celebrant or the guy who's obviously paying the bill almost always does the  wine tastings. I may not know how wine tasters manage to do what they  are doing  but at least I could tell you how  they are doing it. Here are some steps and tips I picked up between dinner tables.

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The Look: After presenting the bottle of wine to the wine tasters, the glass is then  filled with a small  amount of  wine. Big and roundish globes for red wines and lathier  glasses for white or rose wines. Of course there's no actual rule what wine glass to use. If there is one, I still haven't read/heard about  it yet. Feel free to tell me though, I'm all ears.  The wine tasters then gives the contents of the glass a  scrutinizing look.   I usually have this look when shopping for shoes that looks good on my feet but hurts when walking. The wine glass is then tilt to the side. It is said that by merely looking at the color, gloss  and rim of the wine, its age or maturity and even variety of grapes used is identified or at least assumed. Then wine is carefully swirled around. The  alcohol content, sweetness or maturity of the wine is sometimes indicated through the depth of color of the liquid. Beside that, swirling the wine enables air and oxygen to get into the wine releasing its smell better. Wow, I'm starting to sound like I actually know something...I simply ask too many questions sometimes.

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 The Smell: After gently swirling the the wine, the bouquet of aroma (smell of wines that gently burst during the swirling) is inhaled by the wine tasters.   A short wifft to get an instant impression is initiated before a second  longer and deeper inhalation. If I were to become a wine taster, this will clearly be the cause of the end of my non existing career. I tried it a few times and failed. I simply could not name the different smells und  unable to  perceive any   hints of sweetness, bitterness and  soury smell from each wine .  They all smell tangy to me...I will blame it on cooking pungent smelling  Adobo too often. Looks like my smell receptors have  been long intoxicated by cooked vinegar.

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The Taste: After smelling, a small amount of wine is sipped. The liquid is then swish around the oral cavity to tickle  the taste buds.  Letting the liquid stay in the mouth enables the wine tasters to characterized the bitter, sweets, sour, tangy ,corky  or fruity taste of the wine. Like the Smelling, there is the initial tasting point  followed by a longer savoring . After the swallow, the wine tasters must also take  the aftertaste into a serious  consideration. Oh yeah, I've heard that  in some wine tasting events, the wines were actually spitted out. I only see deliberate spitting on football fields in Germany . I guess wine tasters in our place only wanted to pay for the wine they tasted and drink...not the  restaurant's' carpet  dry cleaning bill. 

Taking these three important things into account, I know I will never be good at it. My tastebuds are never that refine and my liver have enough work to do after all those deep frying. To practice wine drinking am afraid, will surely take its toll.

Anyway, here's a thing or two about wine storing and serving. White and  rose wines are best served  cold while other sparkly drinks like champange must be chilled. Red wines on the other hand are better served at room temperature. Hmmm I used to put everything in the fridge!  There are still a lot of things to know when it comes to wine.  Being knowledgeable about it  is a great advantage for epicureans . An excellent food and wine pairing repertoire is essential in many ocassions.  My knowledge is shamely elementarish. That would be ,white wines for fish dishes and red wines for meat dishes. Apart from that, I'm completely lost. I have to ask FF's opinion all the time. Being a serious wine connaisseurs is not in my book anyway so  for now, I will still stick to my Coke. Yikes .Refined...not!(^^)

I might not look like it but I'm a diet soda....

to be continued.................

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