(For part one please scroll down to read previous entry.)
All of the wines were as natural a baby’s bottom. The mystery wine was to be paired against a 2003 Tuscan IGT from Montesecondo. When the moment came, and the women tasted the wines, I took a vote on preference. More than half the room preferred the shiraz! What they liked about the wine, they said, was its sweetness and its chewiness. After all, except for one woman who said she loved Loire wines (even before I got to her), all attending thought a good wine was a thick wine.
When I told them the wine was Yellow Tail, they were embarrassed.
I was crestfallen.
My job was to give them a good time, teach them some new tricks, not to embarrass them!
I scrambled for a way to help them save face and after a quick analysis of what went wrong I said, "I am not a betting woman," I said, "but if we had these two bottles and a good meal, there would be lots of the shiraz left and none of the sangiovese.”
Then I explained to them why they liked the shiraz, “It’s a familiar taste,” I said. “Just like we forgot what real tomatoes taste like, we forgot what real milk tastes like and we forgot that wine isn’t soda pop.”
It seemed to work. We all felt better.
Then I dropped the big one on them. “Let me tell you how this one is made.”
They weren’t squeamish when I told them about the reverse osmosis or the tannin addition or the yeasts..etcetc....but when I told them the shiraz had never seen the inside of a barrel, and that huge tea bags filled with oak product were sunk into wine vats to give the wine oaky flavors, they were as grossed out as if the wine was made of ground up worms.
I've done these kind of dog and pony shows but I hadn't been standing in the middle of a circle running a group since my dance therapy days. It's possible that session had as profound an impact on those financial folks as some of my finest groups had on my old lady and drug addict patients of the past.
By the way, the hands down favorite of the evening, even more than Yellow Tail? Clos Roche Blance 2005 Gamay and the Pepiere 2005 Muscadet. Really, those two blew the YT away.