Wait, what? I know what you’re thinking. What the heck does that mean? I asked myself that same question just this morning when I was required to perform it. I actually think this action verb sounds magical, like a spell you might learn at say, Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But the answer involves wine (also magical, but not in a wizarding sense).
This weekend I’m taking an introductory sommelier course through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Basically, it’s an association of the wine geeks who help you choose a nice bottle at fine dining restaurants. But don’t worry, even if I pass the test tomorrow, I won’t be technically certified as a sommelier yet, or poised to sell you high-priced vintages (although I could, it is a free country).
But I will have Expectorate! down pact. You see, our intense learning this weekend includes blind tasting around 12 wines both days. Now I’ve explored wine in my day, but I never realized how much there is to know about one single sip. Clarity, brightness, intensity, color, rim variation, viscosity, condition, aroma intensity, bouquet, fruit, earth, wood, sweetness level, body, tannins, alcohol, acidity, complexity, length of finish. (I know).
And the steps to unveiling all these qualities in a wine are to look, smell, swirl, smell again, taste, and then my personal favorite, the incantation-sounding Expectorate! Or in less magical terms, spit. Otherwise, there’s no chance we’d deduce anything but a mind-numbing stupor.