Why do sommeliers compare wine to esoteric scents like freshly opened tennis ball cans and new garden hoses?
I turned to sommelier Cheryl Garvey, who has been helping people select the perfect wines for 25 years, and asked her to explain.
Me: It's tortuous to watch wine stewards dissect wine.
Cheryl: Well, it's our job. There is inherent factual information pertaining to wine that is either right or wrong — varietal character, vintage character, balance, structure and terroir — and those are prerequisites to taste.
Me: I'm not lumping you in with those wisenheimers. I think you make wine fun.
Cheryl: Thank you. Choosing wine should be fun, not agonizing. I try to use everyday words to describe wine. I usually begin with an overview of the wine. Accessible or needs time? Fruit-forward? Cocktails or food wine?
Me: I understand everything you just said.
Cheryl: I'd like to dispel the perception many have about sommeliers being intimidating, haughty and using over-your-head winespeak. We do that, for sure, but mostly with each other. It's our jargon, how we communicate. A good wine steward should be able to talk to you about wine and make you feel comfortable, like being partnered with a great lead when learning tango.
Read the complete story in the Eno Outings column: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130731/LIFE/307310314/-1/LIFE0702