Waiting for my lunch order at one of the two bento shops near the office, I became convinced that wine culture is a massive, naughty joke perpetrated by, or perhaps on, the French.
A while ago, the store put in a high-definition wide-screen TV to help keep people entertained or something while they wait and/or eat. OPB was airing one of those milquetoast travelogues that they often use to fill midday airtime, and this time the host visited some famous wine-making region in France. Burgundy, perhaps. During the few minutes I sat at one of the tables near to the counter I watched the host take a wine-tasting lesson. Aided by the closed-captioning text, I learned that you must “earn the right to put it in your mouth,” and that there’s a fine etiquette as well as a principle of flavor involved with whether you spit or swallow.
I swear, I’m not making this up. I’m glad my food arrived, because I was on the verge of busting a gut laughing… and then I’d have had to explain why… without getting banned from the restaurant for the rest of my life.