By Mia Milne
Sep 02, 2019

Cultured (S)Chit Chat: Wine & Music

Grow The Fuck Up

When it comes to being cultured, Hamilton is a bit like the white person in the 100m Olympic sprint; we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. In an attempt to take one step forward into the scene of all things cultured, we’ve dished you out a wine and music related cheat sheet. Study up, and maybe next break you’ll actually be able to talk to your trendy Wellington friends about more than just the papers they take.

Shockingly, $9.50 Moscato from Countdown didn’t feature as the no.1 classy beverage of choice when I googled Wine for Dummies. So how do we drink wine in a cultured manner? Simply broken down for you is the Spin, Sniff and Sip approach.

Spin: If you hold the glass up and swirl it a couple of times, apparently it forms what are called ‘tears’ which run back down inside the glass. Tears and wine. Definitely explains why it’s the drink of choice for a lot of overly emotional girls…Here’s a fact though: the tears (the actual ones in the wine) are to do with the surface tension and the rate of evaporation of the wine’s alcohol (just if you wanted some bonus trivia for your next pub quiz).

Sniff: Use the word ‘smell’ if you want your lack of wine knowledge to be more widely publicised than Brittany Spears shaving her head. Instead opt for terms like the ‘nose’ or ‘aroma’ of the wine when describing the scent. Additionally, much like correct referencing tends to bump up your grades in an assignment, referring to wine aromas correctly will also have a tendency to boost your image as a wine connoisseur. These terms could include: fruits of all sorts, herbs, flowers, tobacco, butterscotch, toast, vanilla, coffee, mocha, or chocolates.

Sip: By this stage, you’ve swirled, sniffed and described the wine for a substantial amount of time - likely long enough to develop a few more grey hairs and two extra facial wrinkles. It is here that you may partake in a medium sized sip. Hold the wine in your mouth, suck some air in (don’t choke) and give your teeth a bit of a rinse with it as you swish it around your mouth. Only then it is socially acceptable for your cultured little pallet to swallow it.
For bonus flex points, continue to waffle on about these characteristics of the wine:

 - Body: light, medium, or full bodied all describe the ‘heaviness’ of the alcohol.  

- Crispness: refers to the acidity.

- Driness: the opposite description to a sweet wine.

- Finish: basically talking about the after taste.

- Tannic: a term for red wine which can refer to the bitterness.

Don’t, under any circumstances, confess that you like the NZ Top 40. If you do, you’ll have about as much of a chance of being perceived as ‘cultured’ as Russia has of winning the Rugby World Cup. But if you do find yourself wanting to blurt out Top 40 related chat, quickly mention how you definitely accept and understand how legendary Bruno Mars is and that you really appreciate how soul, funk and 90’s RnB has had such an influence on his tunes.

Do talk about your record player. All the time...It’s pretty much a given that in order to be perceived as cultured, you need to mention that you bought that on record last month. I mean, you could get it on Spotify pretty much free of charge but that wouldn’t accurately portray the level of culture you truly and authentically live by, yeah?  

- Classical: Talk about Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 in C minor, and how it engages your brain to help you study...

- Soul & Funk: Discuss Stevie Wonder’s fat and hugely groovy basslines.

- Jazz: Mention the evolution of jazz from the 1930’s swing sound, to the cool jazz in the 1940’s, to free jazz in the 1950’s, etc etc.

- Alternative: So that means no to bands that have been signed up to play for RnV. Peep a Laneway festival lineup and you’ll be on the right track.

- Musicals: The musicals Hamilton or Westside Story can also be accompanied by comments about how musically complex the soundtrack is.

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