I finally went wine-tasting.
(As a rule, I don't like tasting things that aren't presented on a grease-slicked hot plate between aisles 4 and 5 by a woman wearing a button that reads, "You'll never go back to 'real' sausage!" But what can I say? I caved to social pressure.)
Anyway, it was not my usual hang-out. That is to say I felt a little out of my element. Like John Wayne at a lingerie shower.
For those of you who haven't gone tasting yet, here are a few "heads-up" items to keep in mind when planning your visit.
First of all, there is little to no RV parking, so get there early and bring your pylons to mark your turf!
Also, I sensed a definite lack of athletic spirit of any kind, so I'd recommend leaving your team jersey at home. Instead, ladies will want to pack an extra-large handbag festooned with as much gold-tone bric-a-brac as one can hoist, and gents will feel at home dressed somewhere between Captain Von Trapp and Thurston Howell III.
Also frowned upon: fist-pumping, pounding the bar to underscore one's appreciation of a particular selection, and exclaiming, "Gah, that's total crap!" to express the notion that you won't be buying a case of that one.
Oh, and classical music. It's everywhere. Nothing says why-yes-I-do-need-a-$125-set-of-pewter-cheese-knives-with-handles-shaped-like-the-Eiffel-Tower like the overture from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.
Basically, going wine tasting is like being in a Grey Poupon commercial for eight straight hours. Not bad...just different.
Most perplexing, however, was the language.
When one of the tasters remarked with great solemnity to another that the wine was, "Cloying...while still ponderous," I got excited, figuring I was witnessing a coded exchange between two foreign operatives.
Then I noticed that everyone was talking that way.
Here they were - the same folks I had observed out in the parking lot recapping the latest episode of "Jersey Shore" at the top of their lungs while adjusting the seats of their underpants - now swanning around, pinkies up like terriers' tails and describing their wines as "brawny", "austere" and "tight."
How was anyone supposed to participate in this game? Clearly, some kind of fax was sent around beforehand.
Fear not, however, because I've compiled a little cheat sheet of my own personal wine-tasting terms that you can whip out when you find yourself surrounded by people dressed like the cast of "Dynasty" and complaining that the bottle they just opened is "volatile" and "angular."
The LJKGW Wine-Tasting Glossary
Theatrical - tastes like three-day-old popcorn with a delightful Junior Mint afternote.
Gummy - as in bear; as in makes little multicolored sugar-sweaters on your teeth.
Marsupial - leaves your mouth feeling like the inside of a kangaroo's pouch.
Woolly - demands immediate dry-cleaning.
Punitive - refers to the taster's residual uneasiness and belief that the wine is out to get him or her.
Loose - a wine that you suspect already has been tasted by everyone in the joint.
Pastoral - tastes like sheep.
Low-Maintenance - can be removed from your carpet with a damp sponge.
Repentant - makes you regret tasting it the minute it hits your tongue.
Aquatic - brings to mind the big fish tank at your dentist's office.
Shifty - of suspect origins; won't look you in the eye.
Alpine - tastes like those tree-shaped car fresheners smell.
Potato-ish - could use some ketchup or makes you feel like you have eyes all over your head.
In Other News...
I'm thrilled to announce that Ann Imig has invited me to produce the Los Angeles presentation of Listen To Your Mother - a spoken-word show she created this year in her town of Madison, Wisconsin and is now taking national for 2011. Directing the LA show will be my friend and most excellent writer/blogger Lisa Page Rosenberg. I'm so excited to work with these ladies!
And speaking of Listen To Your Mother, the LTYM Salon will happen this weekend at CA'10 in Ojai, California - just one of the cool, casual items on the CA'10 weekend agenda. This bite-sized preview of the full-scale show will feature nine writers reading essays about different aspects of motherhood. I look forward to reading a new piece called "The Babymaker."