Francois and the wine tasting party

19 01 2013

So I bought a new vacuum cleaner today – it’s a Dirt Devil, in striking red and black colours (which totally doesn’t match the colour scheme of my apartment, which is blue, green, and IKEA). For some reason, as I assembled it, I decided to name it Francois. I have no idea why. I don’t normally name my appliances.

I envision Francois emitting a disapproving sniff as he/it is directed into the corner of my living room to hoover up unwanted dirt, and reacting with European stoicism as I change from the “poke into corners and baseboards” brush to the “brush up the doormat that my boots are on” brush. I am not sure why I am envisioning this. I blame mid-winter and the absence of baseball.

On an unrelated topic: a while back (about a year or two) I was invited to a wine tasting party. The idea was that you were supposed to bring your favourite bottle of (cheap) wine, and each guest would be served a tiny bit of each bottle in an unmarked plastic glass. You were then invited to write comments on the wine, and perhaps find a new favourite kind to drink.

As it happens, I (a) like to drink red wine, and (b) know virtually nothing about it. (The LCBO offers wine tasting courses, but they sell out quickly.) When offered a wine list, I point vaguely in the direction of the cheaper part of the menu, and say that I’ll have one of those, please. Historically, I have tended to buy cheap French red wine – the sort that the French themselves either export or use to clean car parts.

So, when I was given the opportunity to write comments on wine, all I could do was babble randomly. Here, in order, are my wine comments from that party, along with a note on whether the wine was white or red. Note that later comments were written after having had several mini-glasses of earlier wines – I will leave it to the reader to decide whether my sense of humour improves as my blood-alcohol content percentage rises.

Wine #1 (red): Sharp; a bit aggressive. Would probably stop you on the street and ask you for directions to the nearest nightclub – it would be overdressed and would laugh too loudly on the subway. Too sparkly. (N.B.: This is the one that I brought.)

Wine #2 (red): Lightly fruity, like those apples you stole off the neighbour’s tree and threw at passing cars. Sneaks up on you a bit, gets your attention in an apologetic Canadian type of way.

Wine #3 (white): Makes my mouth pucker. Tastes a bit like lemonade. Are you sure this isn’t a wine cooler? If it were a person, it would talk a lot about its cleansing diet.

Wine #4 (red): Smooth! Inoffensive, very Canadian. Sits in the corner and occasionally contributes clever witticisms. Dry.

Wine #5 (red): Flat, not much taste. Red food colouring with attitude. Maybe I shouldn’t have had the spicy stuff before I drank this.

Wine #6 (white): Fruity! The woman sitting next to me said it was a girly wine and snorted with derision.

Wine #7 (white): Unexciting. This is the first draft of a play that you throw out and rewrite. This wine sits in the corner and sings Morrissey songs quietly to itself.

Wine #8 (white): Is this the same as #7? This is water. You can’t fool me. I was not born yesterday. Or maybe it is vodka. Okay, I was born the day before yesterday. Give me my wallet back, you asshole.

Wine #9 (red): Lightly spicy. Sneaks up on you. Takes your money and breaks your heart. Bittersweet memories. I have no profound things to say about this wine. Perhaps my brain is dead. Or this wine isn’t interesting enough to write about.

Wine #10 (red): This is more red food colouring. This is what contemptuous bar staff give to people who have more money than brains. It’s sold in expensive bottles, and people spend $9.50 a glass on it and feel clever. I would drink it.

Wine #11 (white): Worst smell ever. This wine is cold, like Stephen Harper’s heart, if there is anything left of it after he was ruthlessly taunted and given wedgies in the Etobicoke high school he went to. Now he hates Toronto, and the essence of this is distilled into this wine.




One response

19 01 2013
Craig B

Actually, a little secret. The French love poor wine. They love good wine, but they also like poor wine, because the French love wine. Drinking awful wine is a longstanding French tradition.

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