When you taste as many wines as I do for a living, pregnancy was always going to be a tricky time. I was prepared for the expected upsides like an enhanced palate and a more sensitive nose as well as positives unrelated to work like going up a bra size or two! On the other hand some surprising side effects have been my insatiable desire for melon and curry, albeit not at the same time, and the savoury palate I’ve always credited my filling-free teeth with is now a distant memory. Sugar cravings have replaced the need for anything other than shortbread, chocolate chip cookies and the occassional packet of Haribo.
Then there’s the obvious downer: not drinking wine, I emphasise the word drinking because spitting is accepted as fine, or so you’d think.
I recently came across a term called the ‘imbibing idiot bias’ apparently it’s quite a common reference used in the U.S which basically gives a name to the ‘unconscious’ perception we place on people we see drinking alcohol to be dumber than their abstaining pals or colleagues. Assuming this is a phrase known to the masses then place me at a wine tasting surrounded by wine, belly protruding, back arching, bosom heaving and feel the prickly looks of accusation in my direction from around the room. Forget a professional capacity to spit here’s the ultimate case of the imbibing idiot bias; an irresponsible pregnant woman has been let loose and she’s temptingly close to the wine…..
On the up side my pregnancy and associated sweet tooth has got me thinking about sweet wine in an altogether different light. Not in terms of the celebrated stickies of Sauternes or fine ice wines of Canada but of commercial wine, wines will residual sugar that are adored by the wine drinking public but publicly abhorred by the wine trade. The wine that helped me see the light? Freixnet’s Cordon Oro semi-seco, an off dry sparkling spanish wine that amongst my weeks of abstinence was imbibed on a hen weekend in Dorset with some dear friends after my own heart; they enjoy off dry wines, they’re not unaccustomed to spitting and they wouldn’t dream of judging a girl by the contents of her glass!