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How Can One Become Pretentious About Red Wine?


This question originally appeared on Quora

Answer by Kalani Tom,  Creator of The Wine Code Wine App, Author of The Wine Code wine book, Wine Educator, Wine Consultant

  • When presented with the wine list, reject it and ask for the Captain’s list.
  • Browse through the Captain’s list with disgust and ask to see the regular wine list again.
  • When the sommelier places the glasses on the table, pick one up and smell it. Mention that it smells like a wet dishcloth and ask for new glasses for everyone.
  • When new glasses are placed, ask if they are the appropriate glasses for the grape you’ve selected … “are these Pinot Noir wine glasses or all-purpose wine glasses?”
  • When the sommelier presents the wine, touch the bottle and insist that it’s too warm (or too cold) and ask what temperature the wine has been stored at.
  • Insist the sommelier decants the wine for you, but make sure they decant it “to the smoke, not the sediment.”
  • After you smell and taste the wine, make sure you say, “The nose is not reflected on the palate, that’s for sure.”
  • After tasting the wine, ask them “what kind of soil were these grapes grown in?” Whatever their answer, nod and mention that you can detect that on the palate.
  • Ask them if the wine was bottled on the estate. Wines bottled by the proprietor or (heaven forbid) bottled in cellars are deemed lower quality.
  • Mention to your guests that the wine needs to breathe, but by the time the food arrives, it shall be ready for drinking.


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