Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Of Elegant Wine Tastings & Flatulence

It was the Annual Sales & Marketing Conference at Sula Vineyards (where I worked a few years back), held amidst the beautiful country-side of Nashik amidst the vineyards itself.

It was a 3 day conference and after sessions and sessions of quarterly plans, annual reviews, sales growth charts, etc. no one really wanted to talk even a word of business. The entire team was seated in the open lawns, adjacent to the vineyards – a party was planned. Before the party, we had a small wine-tasting & training.

The setting was perfect, the sun was setting into the vineyards, there was a cool breeze, the tables were laid out with the finest glassware – two white wine glasses, two big-bowled red wine glasses and one pretty long-stemmed champagne glass or ‘champagne flute’. A platter of some mouth-watering cheeses and unsalted crackers were laid out.

We were all set, with a notepad & pen as well next to us…ready to take down notes on how the wines tasted…this was our job after all, so we got a little serious.

The Head Wine Maker uncorked the first bottle of wine – a great robust South African red wine – The Two Oceans Pinot Grigio, made from the Pinot Noir grape. The waiters came around and served the wine to all of us. One of my colleagues on my table swore that this was the best wine ever.

The 50 odd people gathered there was a mixed crowd – mostly consisting of sales persons who despite selling wine, did not really care about wine, they preferred their pegs of whisky and could not wait to get to their room.

The Chief wine taster called for our attention by tapping on his glass and motioned that we start the exercise – Swirl, sniff, sip.  That was the golden rule to wine tasting.

There were around 8 tables in front of us. Four of my colleagues and me were seated together on a table behind, swirling the wine in our glasses in unison like professionals and were poised to take in a deep breath…….we started to inhale….AND just then we heard a noise from the table in front of us……..pprrrrrrrrrrrrrr….and we didn’t know what hit our noses the next second – the guy in front of us just farted!!

Instead of taking in the aromas of the wine, we ended up deeply inhaling the foul, pungent and putrid odours.

All our concentration was on our olfactory senses, and if there was ever an equivalent of spitting out something instantly that you don’t like in the olfactory world…this was it.

We exhaled as hard as could….and then tried controlling our laughter, this was a serious training session after all. We couldn’t duck below the table and laugh either, just in case he farts again! We tried hard to keep a straight face in front of all the seniors.  

Wine tasting anyone?

I wonder if the gas that guy passed was laughing gas or if we were high on wine, we couldn’t stop laughing.

P.S.: Guys at Sula, what was the ‘nose’ – rotten egg or spoiled pork chop? 


  1. hahahaha can't imagine the experience!

  2. Hey Sunny, aka 'The sun' :P, man it was so funny, even today everytime I think of it I start laughing.