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07/23/2003 Entry: "The Future Looks Rosť."

Oenomancy: The mystical art of figuring out if a bottle of wine will be tasty or not before buying it.1 Sometimes you may augur certain signs, which will sway your decision. I can particularly attest to the hand-lettered signs at K&L Wines which say things like "Don't leave without one of these!" In a weakened state, having trudged a few blocks farther than I expected in the sun on my lunch hour to get there, I don't question. Bacchus has spoken.

I suppose signs are cheaper than replacing all those burning bushes.

Normally my purchase method is the time-tested Label Method: Is it an interesting label? Good color scheme? or did they use a tacky font and bad illustration? I buy a champagne that's pretty good, but I only recognise it because it has a beautiful Art Nouveau illustration on it—couldn't tell you the name of it at gunpoint. That's probably the reason why I keep going back to Bonny Doon wines. (Lately, I've discovered Framboise. Mmm. Raspberries.)

The other common variety of Oenomancy is the Tome Method. The waiter (or the sommelier) brings over a lengthy document and, after scanning the names for a few minutes, expects you to deduce which one is the best price-performer. Monday night the Boyfriend and I went to Julius Castle Restaurant to celebrate his birthday. Interesting place—a victorian castle on the hill just beneath Coit Tower. But the binder they brought for the wine looked like technical documentation for a Shuttle launch. We flipped through, looking for as much as a variety of wine that sounded familiar, and then picked the most interesting sounding wine that didn't require a credit check prior to decanting. We did pretty well, I thought. (For any of you winey people, it was a 1999 Ferrari-Carano Siena. It had sensuous cherry and raspberry tones and smooth tannins, or something.)

But I never remember what wine was good and what wine wasn't. I had some really fine Italian wine last September that was $20 and delicious, and that's about all I can recall. (I asked at the wine store, but from the blank looks I got, that wasn't enough to go on, I guess.) Maybe I should start a Wine Blog. Maybe I should invest in some wine software to help me keep track of things. Maybe I should invest in a pencil and a notepad.

1I suppose technically the term would imply using the wine to see the future. That might be true, though in my case it's mostly just visions of passing out later that evening.

Replies: One Comment

Maybe you should quit drinki...sorry, never mind.

Posted by Huntington @ 07/24/2003 10:15 AM PST

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