While not a likely topic for a blog, I have recently been finding myself going to more tastings than I am use to. Some pretty big ones at that. So I've begun to notice that more and more people seem to be expunging wine that they have decided to sample. Got me thinking about my own choice, that I NEVER spit.
Now I know there can be very good reasons for not swallowing all the wine that you might sample. The biggest being over indulging. Now I don't want anyone thinking I'm advocating getting drunk or not being responsible when you do drink. And if that is why people spit, then more power to you.
I'm looking at this in terms of enjoyment and having that relationship with wine. I know that professional reviewers spit as they may end up tasting 20 to 30 wines at a time, and most of them understand palate fatigue or impaired judgement. Scientifically, I know that while you still ingest alcohol into your system even if you spit, the total amount is considerable less than letting in go "down the hatch."
But what got me thinking was that it seems like more and more people, and I'm guessing not just professional reviewers, are the ones I see not drinking. Now kudos to those that understand their limitations and don't swallow, but, for me, if I pace myself, I can enjoy the full experience of that wine.
I have learned that I need to identify those wines at a tasting that I definitely want to try versus those that might be secondary and not as important to sample while at a tasting. That's my way of pacing myself and insuring I don't have too much.
Let's ask, "Is there a difference?"
For me, most assuredly. While I do roll the wine around in my mouth and sip in a small amount of air, I also like to "feel" the way the wine continues to evolve as I swallow. Can you get the same "feeling" if you spit? Most of those doing so would probably say yes. I'm not so sure. It's sort of like how wine seems to taste better if your in the country of origin or at the winery directly. The "experience" I believe adds to everything we end up knowing about a wine. And experiencing the wine as "pass the lips, over the tongue, lookout stomach here it comes" is as much of the total experience for me as the first few seconds of the taste.
So where am I going with this? NOWHERE. As I said, just happened to be out and about at a couple wine tastings and I do notice what goes on around me, and more and more times, I see that dump bucket being used for more than emptying your glass. Whichever way you taste while at a a tasting, is up to you. As my next half birthday tasting is right around the corner, I just hope that if you attend, you ENJOY yourself and find the wines I'm bringing together as good for you as they were for me.
So Swirl, Smell, Sip and Spit.......NOT ME!