Lessons in wine tasting. Can I get beyond nice or not nice.

The one on the left is the white.

When I first arrived in Rome, the lovely Lyndsey coined the phrase, “Random Rome” to describe our first few days in the capital. I forget exactly why now. But the randomness continues. My regular partner in all things weird is Sofia. We like to do cultural things together in an attempt to broaden our horizons, but also because our level of appreciation is equivalently poor. Nice, not nice, is about as far as we get.
   So the latest was a wine tasting course. We’ve done the touristy courses of a couple of hours in a nice bar enjoying some nice wines, but we felt we were ready to learn more. Maybe get beyond the nice/not nice stage.
Groupon obliged, a six hour wine tasting course for a quarter of the price. Bargain. 
   We wanted to learn and learning we got, six hours on the theory of wine with less emphasis on the tasting. Italy’s climate is good for wine cultivation for their hot days and cool nights. A lot of information about how the ‘terroir‘ can affect the price and quality of wines grown within a couple of metres of each other. I’ve learnt lots of new Italian words that I’m struggling to translate into English, durezza, sapidita’, limpidezza, I know what they mean harshness, richness, transparency but … 
   The first week we learnt how to distinguish wines by sight. Is it red or white? We then looked at a red and a white. We could tell. What did it smell of? Could we smell the green apples? Wine was my answer. It smells of wine. (Although I later learnt that a wine could smell winey, but should never have the puzza of alcohol). Frasier I am not. 


   I learnt how to open a bottle of wine and how to serve it correctly, no more pushing the broken cork back into the bottle with a wooden spoon, splattering usually red wine across the kitchen (Joanne that one’s for you). 

I learnt how to twizzle the glass.

   The second week and the third week focused on smell and taste – but still with only two wines to compare which is always a struggle. There are grades, groups, scales, levels and above all is the wine persistent? Would you want it to be? What emotion are you left with after the wine has been drunk? Good question. In Bradford the answer would be tears, telling everyone you loved them and someone holding back your hair.

 The cultural journey will continue, if only to keep myself amused.

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