Expectorate! No, it's not a magic spell, that would be much cuter. Expectorate is a term used to describe coughing up phlegm or spitting. But it's actually the silliest thing I've ever done with wine. And if you knew what I was up against, you might not judge.
I actually think the action verb expectorate sounds magical. Like an incantation, you'd learn at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But in reality, it's quite a primal act. Spit.
The term expectorate is mostly used in medical situations to describe the act of coughing up phlegm (🤢). Or a medicine that helps you do so. But by no means do doctors and drug companies own exclusive rights to this less-than-appealing action verb. Master sommeliers are a lesser-known talented group with skin in the expectorate game.
Expectorate Like a Sommelier
My first - and last - expectorate experience was an introductory sommelier course with the Court of Master Sommeliers. The Court is an association of the most masterful, talented wine geeks around. A fun bunch, as I expected. Amazingly engaging and amusing, except for the part when they told me to expectorate wine (insert the sounds of quiet sobbing).
This was not my first rodeo wine tasting (living in California provides plenty of opportunities). But never, had I ever, sent it back out. Always down the hatch. But alas, when you imbibe for educational purposes, frivolity is sacrificed.
Sommelier certification courses are intense. And get increasingly difficult as you take your wine tasting skills to the next level. The first-level course through the Court of Master Sommeliers is an entire weekend of blind tasting 12 wines a day. And it all begins before breakfast. So truly, if you didn't spit out your sips, you'd be toast by lunch and remember nothing. Not a good use of the few hundred dollars you pay to enroll in the course.
And becoming buzzed would cloud your memory of the clarity, brightness, intensity, color, rim variation, viscosity, intensity, bouquet, fruit notes, earthiness, woody aromas, sweetness level, body, tannins, alcohol, acidity, complexity, and length of finish of each wine. For me, that was 18 reasons to expectorate. At least in the name of education. Otherwise, there was no chance of gaining anything from the course other than a mind-numbing stupor.
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