After co-founding The Huffington Post’s tech section, editor Bianca Bosker traded in her top rank for cellar rat status, starting at the bottom of the wine world to learn how to swirl, smell and spit with elite sommeliers. Now she’s documented the experience in her new book Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste. Bosker lent us her expertise ahead of a wine tasting and discussion at Wellesley Books on May 3.
On choosing a glass: “If you’re looking to drink really good wine for good value, try going for the hidden gem, the unfamiliar grapes, the region you’ve never heard of…they’re on the list because someone in the restaurant loved those wines.”
On what to bring to a dinner party: “I love Sauternes because, first of all, a lot of people haven’t tried them. Second, you can find old aged Sauternes for not a lot of money, and third, even though you don’t have to drink it with dessert, it goes beautifully with dessert and it’s a really fun thing to bring out at the end of the meal to encourage people to linger and to talk. To me, one of the best parts of a bottle of wine is to bring people together.”
On judging acidity: “Take a sip of wine, swallow it, put the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, then lean over so your head is parallel to the floor, and then pay attention to how much you salivate. If you feel like you would drool on yourself if you would open your mouth, then it’s probably a higher-acid wine. If you don’t feel much saliva, that’s a lower-acid wine.”
On what amateurs are missing: “The smell. For sure. …. For some of my sommelier friends, the biggest pleasure in a glass of wine is really smell. For a lot of people who don’t take that moment to smell that glass of wine, both with their nose and when it’s inside their mouth, they are interacting with a glass of wine in the same limited way as if they had bought a record and only looked at the album cover without ever actually playing it.”