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- Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:02 pm
A cruise may seem cheap on the brochure but there's the per person room tip that adds up, and there's the cost of alcohol. Luckily, my wife, Gwynne, and I don't drink much alcohol, but we don't drink NO alcohol, especially during fun in the sun, so some financial accommodation has to be set aside for that. We usually buy the onboard pictures too, plus go on ship-sponsored excursions, so it can be a considerable amount. One of the ways to keep alcohol costs under control is to do the “tastings,” which for $20, because we share, can get us both tipsy but still available for dinner. Plus, we always meet interesting people. There's whiskey tasting, and whiskey with beer back, margaritas & martinis, and you can do them again. We didn't usually do wine tasting because the pretention level is uncomfortable, plus you don't really get a buzz. One day though, there was a hole in our schedule between late on-deck brunch and the hot tub, and something called “Black Glass Wine Tasting” was on the ship calendar. Even though Gwynne & I feel inadequate around oenophiles (wine connoisseurs), we signed up.There was a lot of pretentious talk around the table beforehand, let me assure you. We kept our mouths shut because we can barely tell a Red from a White by taste. Gwynne says she has only 2 descriptive terms: “drinkable” and “undrinkable,” the latter accompanied by a casual fake toss over her shoulder. We were given laminated checklists to use for reference that included the 4 “S”es: Sight, Smell, Sip & Summary. It’s remarkable how confident people are about their ability to judge wine: “fruity,” “earthy,” and other ridiculous wine jargon. We had 3 wines to (1) tell whether it was Red or White; (2) determine variety of grape; and (3) if possible, where they came from. Yikers! Most folks were frantically scratching out something on their answer cards; we only had 3 minutes per glass; but Gwynne and I just looked at each other. We did know the color anyway, so we filled that out. I guessed at least one Chardonnay (how could there not be?) and wrote that for all of them, and supposed 1 of them was from California (how could there not be?) and wrote that for all of them, but that was it. I couldn't for the life of me write down another thing that would be any better wild guessing than what I already had. We were done before anyone else so we finished all our wine even though we were supposed to spit it out and dump the glasses of what remained in them. At least that worked out because we both got a nice buzz.
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