The Taste of Wine


 The Taste of Wine


Like good soldiers on parade

         six fire-rimmed glasses

         half full of royal purple wine waited me.


Behind each stood a smocked bottle

         like motherly guardian

         watching over a beloved child.


Flattered to be selected to judge

         of these contesting wines offered as a

         tribute to Baucus and California wineries.


Tilt the first glass and look impressed,

         swirl and swish up the side;

         wonderful color and nice fruity odor.


The body of the second glass

         heavy on the back of my mouth

         a wine full body to be considered carefully


Third glass with a bouquet of

         earth and grass

         and a touch of herbs


Then after a spit and cracker

         the fourth glass

         crisp with refreshing acidity.


Getting close to the end so rest

         the mouth before trying the fifth glass;

         just a bit off dry.


Now the last in this great series

         fruity with flavor intensity

         maybe with a bit tannic. 


Study the notes and compare

         this wonderful array

         of the best of California.


 Hand your scores to the nice lady

         behind the table

         as she smiles a thanks to you.


Breathless waiting for the

         barring of the sacked bottle

         behind each glass.


First bottle a 2002 Zin

         from Sobon

        I sure should have guessed that.


Great grapes from those 100 year old 

         bunch pruned vines in a

         vineyard where Italian ghosts walk.


Second bottle uncovered like

         Gypsy Rose Lee

         Sobon 2002 zin.


The third, fourt  fifth and final

         Like a chorus line at the follies

         all alike and in step.


Smiling lady now a twinkling chuckle

         greeted me with: “         welcome to the

          Dead Palette Society!


Doug Minnis

February 28,2015







I had just finished judging 20 nominations for Phi Beta Kappa Award for excellence in teaching. It was a very difficult task because all nominees were so well qualified. It seemed to me to be presumptive if not arrogant to make the distinction. It was a phony task . The world of wine tasting is also a place where being phony is common. Hence the poem