To Swirl, Sniff, Spit, Dump, or Drink? That is the question. In researching the answer we came across this educational item on Slate’s website:
Cold Shower: How to spit with the wine pros.
Spit or swallow? For wine aficionados, the choice is usually dictated by circumstance: At meals you swallow, at tastings you spit (unless the wines being tasted are liquid gold; it would be criminal to cough up even a drop of the 1989 Haut-Brion, [Robert Parker rated 100 points] for instance). But as with so many other wine-related rituals, spitting is no simple matter. Proper technique and correct form count for a lot more than you might think in wine circles.
All of this talk of spitting had some of our customers weighing in as well:
Corbin H. writes: The International Pinot Noir Celebration in Oregon holds a spitting contest for winemakers, which on the occasions I witnessed it the French handily won. It was distance-only, but one did have to muster enough accuracy to avoid hitting the linesmen.
Jill A. writes: Yes, if you spit my 89 Haut-Brion I would kill you, personally.