A waste of good wine? Non! Spitting is essential to tasting

Spitting is frowned upon in polite society — unless of course the spitter is engaged in tasting wines.

“It’s by spitting out the wine that you will be even more distinguished in society,” pleads Pierre-Jules Peyrat, a Paris sommelier.

Holding forth before a rapt crowd at a wine-tasting in the French capital, Peyrat begins by sticking his expert nose into a glass of chilled rose: it is important to get a good whiff before tasting the wine.

Once in the mouth, the wine is swirled around — or chewed — for a few seconds. The taster may then make a ‘duck face’ to allow a bit of air in to detect further characteristics, a step called ‘grumage’.

Next, the mouthful of liquid is spewed back out in an unapologetic burst into a spittoon.

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