Whining about wine – you’re doing it wrong
I once wrote about going to a wine tasting event where famous Dutch winemaker Ilya Gort of the La Tulipe vineyard (Obviously not the bottle shown here) gave drinking tips. One of the things that really bothers him — and helps him sell books and his inexpensive wine — is that the Dutch don’t take the time to appreciate what they are drinking. He had said “someone worked very hard to get it [the wine] that way” and he’s right, although I can imagine the average Dutch consumer thinking that they can do whatever the hell they want with the wine they bought at the store and rightly so.
Gort claims in Dutch newspaper ad.nl that three quarters of the Dutch don’t taste wine properly as they just drink it instead of slurping it. No idea where that percentage comes from, but hey. Slurping is frowned upon in many Western cultures, but with wine, you can slurp to taste the wine, then you can drink it and know what you’re drinking. Gort is plugging a book about slurping, so let’s be honest, the ‘story’ sounds more like an advertorial.
I am in no way a huge wine connoisseur, but my non-book-pushing gripes involve the following:
– The very bad quality of wine glasses here. It’s a freaking juice glass! The nicer the glass, the more pleasant the drinking or we’d put cocktails in a big coffee mug and call it a day.
– When I ask for wine in a bar, choices are often limited to red or white, and dry or fruity.
– When I want to know what the house wine is, I get a shoulder shrug and get told it’s the house wine.
I also have to tell you about the time a Dutch girlfriend invited me over for dinner and said ‘bring a red Merlot’ (Merlot is always red), either as an excellent joke or worried I’d go Dutch on her. I laughed and got worried about her taste in wine.
All these comments make anyone sound like a snob — and I have had great wine in the Netherlands — but accepting this state of affairs makes one sound like a provincial hicks. No wait, they drink beer. Damn.