I swirled, I swished, I did not spit

And I came home a little tipsy. SUCCESS! Last night, the American Chamber of Commerce of Norway–delightfully abbreviated AmCham–hosted a wine tasting in Oslo, featuring  California wines. I felt a little closer to home sampling fermented grapes grown on American soil. And from the state where I (half) grew up, no less!

We made the invite list because we’re ACN folk, and ACN is fancy like that. Emily, Nick, John, and I arrived in Oslo around 4. Emily and I wandered around Zara for a while (that place isn’t as great as I remember it), but we ran into a pod of ACN students. Emily’s theatre class had plans to see Romeo and Juliet, so I guess everybody was in Oslo. Aren’t we cute?


Actually, everybody in this picture looks uncomfortable except for Nick. CROP IT AND MAKE IT YOUR PROFILE PICTURE, NICK.

We arrived fashionably late to the tasting, except for John who skipped Zara (can’t blame him) and got a head start. The AmCham was a lot busier than I’d expected. Lots of rubbing elbows and strange people looking me in the face, and people wearing sport coats and diving their noses into glasses, sniffing deeply for information far beyond my ken. Made me all flush and sweaty. WINE, WINE, PLEASE GOD BRING ON THE WINE.

When we checked in, they gave us a packet of drink tickets, but none of the wine vendors asked for them. Maybe they were voting tickets? I stuffed them in my bra and forgot about them. BECAUSE I’M CLASSY LIKE THAT. Besides, nobody wants me judging wine. I spent a summer drinking euro wine in France and not giving a hoot how it tasted, as long as it had 12%+ abv. So the wine was flowing…like wine I guess. I tired to learn things, but I didn’t even know enough to articulate a good question. It was better when I just held out my glass and smiled, like, please, sir, may I have some more? 

Nick, of course, took beautiful pictures–which I requested because I only took a few bad selfies. Bless this man and his popping Insta account:

Do we look the part? My favorite vendor was the vermouth guy. He had us sample three (in a particular order) and then he made us a cocktail. He wasn’t pretentious in the least, and he was very engaging. I made sure to get the info about his stuff–I know a fella who likes sweet vermouth in the summer time. WINK.

IMG_2806 (1)
Aperitif is French and it means “getting a little drunk before dinner”

I also chatted with a nice woman named Abigail who poured me a red Zinfandel. I didn’t realize such a thing existed. I guessed correctly that Zinfandel is the grape and the color depends on the skin…somehow. From there, she informed me about “skin contact” which is how long the grape skins ferment with the wine (it influences the color). I didn’t ask a good question, but Abigail was nice enough to teach me something anyway. I liked Abigail.

After that, I got brave and asked another lady to remind me what the legs mean, and she said that they don’t really tell you that much. Now, either she’s letting me in on a trade secret here–that people just make shit up to sound pretentious–or she’s intentionally barring me from the club because she knows I’m not pretentious enough to handle such information. I WANT THE TRUTH. Oh well, I’ve already stopped caring. MORE WINE, PLEASE.

Coppola was one of our last stops, and John and I talked at length with the vendor. Some lady took a picture with him, and, not wanting to be outdone, I took one too. Evidently SHE writes for a fancy women’s magazine and I’m just a drunk lady at a wine tasting. But whatever–we shared a moment and we have a blurry picture to prove it, DAMN IT. Anyway, he was lively and interesting and proud of his brand and that’s what I look for in a…wine vendor.

Before I close, I want to tell you that it’s true about what happens at wine tasting. People SPIT. They spit out their wine. They swirl it, and sniff it, swish it, AND SPIT IT OUT. Every tasting station had a bucket for PURGING. They were spittoons! It was like the wild west in there. Grotesque. Actually, it wasn’t the spitting that bothered me–I’ve got six brothers. I KNOW ABOUT SPITTING. But there’s just no excuse for wasting good wine.

Well, that’s it. My first wine tasting. Probably my last. I don’t think I’m cut out to be a society girl. Sorry the pictures aren’t better. The light was bad and I get squinty when I drink. At least I can check getting drunk in another european city off my life bucket list. Next up: London.




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