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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Today I attended an eight-hour introductory course to New Zealand wines. It was very interesting and informative, but on some of the topics, the instructor came off as something of a Nazi.

"Pumping or vacuuming air out of wines does not keep it fresher longer," he said.

"But you said air makes wine oxidized. If you removed the air, how can it not help it?"

"I said it doesn't help it, OK?"

"Yes, but--"

"End of discussion. Have you done the scientific tests with it? Because I have."

"Right . . ."

(I go back to drawing pictures of ninja turtles on scrap paper.)

By the end of the course I thought we had a mutiny on our hands. He suggested that there was a huge untapped market for dessert wines in New Zealand, but the problem was that servers and bartenders weren't suggesting it.

"But they usually cost more than the desserts they're supposed to compliment, and most people find that to be a turn off," one woman said.

"The problem is that servers and bartenders aren't suggesting it," he repeated.

"Yes, but people don't know anything about dessert wines, and they usually just drink coffee with dessert anyway, rather than spending eleven dollars per glass on something they've never tried," another man chimed in.

"Have you tried suggesting it?" the instructor asked.

"Yes, but--"

"I think you'll find that the problem is that people aren't suggesting them enough."

"But my restaurant doesn't sell desert wines."

"There's your problem right there."

By that point my scrap paper was filled with drawings of ninja turtles, wine glasses, and guys with afros, and I was ready to leave.

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