Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My pursuit of fine wine and the understanding of it has led me to meet some interesting people over the years. One person whom I'll never forget was a middle-aged, blonde woman (name unknown) who studied the same basic wine evaluation course as I did several years ago.

The funny thing was, she didn't actually drink wine. Not a drop.

This fact shockingly came to my attention (as well as the rest of my class) in the first 'true' tasting class of the course, when, with six sample pours of white wine placed in front of every student for assessment, our wine lecturer asked her what she felt of a certain wine's palate;

"I'm unsure." She said. "I don't actually drink wine."

To which, the lecturer responded with; "If you don't drink wine, what are you doing in a wine tasting course?"

"I want to become a winemaker." She replied. At this point the class became somewhat baffled, but the lecturer was becoming frustrated with sheer disbelief.

So the lecturer confronted her with; "How are you going to become a winemaker if you don't drink wine?"

"I just smell them." She quipped.

Now exceptionally puzzled, the lecturer told her; "You can't become a winemaker by just smelling wines. You HAVE to drink the stuff too. Now come on, stop being ridiculous and drink the damn wine!"

But she refused. The more he tried to get her to drink the wine, the more she refused. Eventually, the lecturer gave in, but he did end with; "Just see me after class, okay?" Now I'm not entirely sure what he said to her after class, but rest assured, she didn't return to any more wine tasting classes after her initial effort.

True story.

A wannabe winemaker attending a wine tasting course, who doesn't drink wine; just sniffs it. I've always wondered how her aspirations of becoming a winemaker have progressed since....

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