On the agenda: 'Girls' parody; Danny Dyer in 'EastEnders'; conference season; wine lists
Middle class problems: Wine lists
By Flemmich Webb
Fish: white. Meat: red. Didn't it used to be simple? No faffing about with which year was good in the bleeding Rhône. You went to a restaurant, decided what you were going to eat, then chose the relevant colour of house plonk.
These days, wine lists are the length of novellas. People drink red with fish and white with lamb. As for left or right bank, don't even go there. Because, let's be honest, most of us don't really know anything about the stuff.
The friend who opens the wine list with a flourish is usually so overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and the pressure of being responsible for the table's drinking enjoyment, that they quickly fall back on the default option: a mid-priced something should be OK, right?
The bottle arrives. The table watches; the waiter hovers. The raise of the glass to the light; the swirl; the inhale; the sip, the swill, the swallow; the authoritative: "Yes, that's good, thanks." Which is to say, "Yes, I can confirm, that is wine." And the point of all that sniffing and tasting? To conceal ignorance with the distraction of showmanship, of course.
For the pros, though, it's part of the four-stage tasting process: the look, the aroma, the in-mouth sensation, the aftertaste, letting them assess the wine's structure, integration and expressiveness.
So it's a shame that a 2011 survey of more than 500 drinkers found that the majority of us can't distinguish between expensive wine and plonk any more successfully than if we'd guessed.
Maybe it would've been fine to order that bottle of Blue Nun after all…
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan in new celebrity hacking attack weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'