We’ve been doing it all wrong. That’s not surprising now is it? Well, what may be surprising is that researchers at Reykjavík’s School of oenology have discovered why the Nordic countries enjoy wine so much. They simply are better at it! While I’m sure the powers that be would love to find their genetics were responsible for such an advantage, the truth is that enjoying wine more can be learned. It all boils down to what you do with the wine once it’s in your mouth.
The Icelandic language shares Old Norse as its base with the Nordic countries of Europe. Today these languages have diverged somewhat but they retain all the guttural goodness and nuanced inflection of the late 13th century, and therein lies the secret to making wine taste good.
Just take a look at the Old Norse alphabet, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on there that has been carried over into the modern Nordic languages. For example here’s a snippet of modern Icelandic text:
“brigsluðu honum eftir því, sem síðar mun sagt verða”
Now I don’t read Icelandic, and that’s not a bad thing considering that even this small snippet of text makes my brain hurt, but think about what’s going on here. Look at all those accents and weird set of vowels. Speaking in Nordic is like calisthenics for the tongue, and according to Dr. Svarthöfði Guðmundsdóttir that extra exercise creates a more powerful tongue, and a more powerful tongue is able to sop up more of the alcohol, oak, and unctuous fruit that most 100 point wines are equipped with. Though to be sure, even a lowly 90 point wine can be better appreciated by a well exercised tongue.
This exciting research was recently presented in association with the 100 Point dream team.
Robert Parker, who has just announced the roll out of his latest publishing effort, the lifestyle magazine to be named 100 Points, will be adding a tongue fitness section to 100 Points as per his statement.
James Suckling, who has embarked on an ambitious effort to learn all Nordic languages by noon on Friday, has already developed a tongue appreciation course which will be taught in a Tuscan castle. It has already been called the finest effort of our times and a brilliant innovation that will revolutionize wine tasting, according to James Suckling quoting james Suckling.
And Finally the Riedel family, famous for their glassware has gotten into the game with a tongue brace designed for those who want to taste 100 point wines but don’t want to put in the time and effort to get their tongue in connoisseur condition. The glass brace is elegantly shaped like a swan’s neck and fits over the edges of the tongue, helping to guide wine to its deepest nooks and crannies. Riedel advises against driving, kissing, or talking with the brace in, though they do assure us that it is lead free and safe to sleep in. You know, for those nights when 100 Points is more than enough!
This all opens a pandora’s box of sorts as this new tasting paradigm will require the recalibration of the 100 point system. Already there is talk of a parallel system with the truly exciting possibility of there being a Norse 100 pointer emerging soon! Yes, you heard that right, in addition to our regular 100 pointers, 100+ pointers, and 100* get ready for the Norse God of Wine 1ØØ!
While I’m not quite sure how this will work early indications are that all norse scores will be a factor greater than our conventional scoring, allowing us to in effect score up to 110. For example, here’s what the new scoring system might look like
My friends, this is so exciting! It will revolutionize the wine industry and as James Sucklingsson has said, now that he’s changed his last name, “I’m 1ØØ points on that! Ja I am. Hrútspungar and 1ØØ point Brunello for ahl!” To Which Mr. Parkersson has replied. “No James, only 1ØØ point Chateauneuf, out of double magnum goatskin will do!”
And there was much rejoicing!