Monday, March 10, 2008

Wine appreciation :-)

Szentimre -the village- is built onto the hills rising from the valley of Berettyo river. Same size as Dover here, about 500 houses... and about 500 wine cellars :-)) Everybody who is anybody has one. Whole streets are dedicated to wine. We lived on one of these cellar streets. The view from our street.
Usually every weekend is busy on these streets, families having a rest, cooking a gulyas, roasting backfat on sticks and, naturally, sampling their wine, sharing it with neighbours. Hospitality is legendary in my village. It is customary to invite in for a glass anybody who happen to pass your cellar. There can be no excuse to refuse a sample ! So if you happen to travel to Szentimre be aware that you may end up on your fours by the end of the street, as it happened to several visitors :-))) Now this hospitality wouldn't be a problem if everybody's wine would be "nearly as good as mine". But you can encounter "passable", "one glass", "squatting" and "three persons" wines also :-))
To explain: these are the gold, silver, bronze and youdon'twanttodrinkthis wine categories of my village.
"Nearly as good as mine" is the highest accolade that anyone can achieve :-)) Gold medal wine!
"Passable" is Silver. A serious achievement for the winemaker.
"One glass" is Bronze. You could drink more of it but on one hand it is impolite to appear a drunkard and start pouring down your esophagus a second glass' content, on the other hand there will be more varieties to sample :-))
"Squatting" denotes a wine where you squat down passing your host's cellar windows as to avoid being seen and invited in. This wine has serious faults... :-)
"Three persons" is the worst ! Visualise yourself on the winery table, being held down by two persons while the host forcefeeds his tipple. This is the wine and the cellar you want to avoid at all cost !...even by walking several kilometers more on your way, across paddocks, up-and-down valleys, behind uncle Gyula's potatoes, through the cemetery at night, etc, etc, etc...
I can tell you that Paul had many "nearly as good as mine", some "passable" and the occasional "one glass". He never made "squatting" or "three persons" wine but he committed the these cardinal sins while learning to make schnapps :-)) But that is another story...

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