Once Upon a Time in Oslo

There it was again. The awkward silence. The nervous flexing of muscles as the winemaker first gently, then with an increasingly more desperate tone asked if we had any questions, any thoughts, any comments at all.

At all.

The few who might have been able to muster a moderate pondering hadn’t really been paying attention and were therefore loathe to ask about something that might already have been explained earlier.

The others honestly didn’t know how to react. He had said so much yet so little, offering praise for his wineries use of untoasted oak and unfertilized fertilizers while heralding the century year long tradition in the brand new yet small but huge estate.

Where was that loud ass? The one who showed up at the Austrian tasting last week, made a fool of himself and yet filled the air with sweet, sweet sound? Or the know-it-all from the master class two weeks ago? The one who finished all the winemakers sentences for her?

Where were those nitwits when you actually needed them?

Maybe they had had sense to stay at home and sleep of a few more hours of last nights rounds of beer and shots of Fernet…

And yet could we be blamed? The importers themselves could barely keep their eyes open. We knew that THEY knew, that we were only here as a favor; to make the aloof audience more real to the winemaker, to make the Norwegian consumer seem tangible.

-‘Don’t worry, they’re always like this’, one of them joked feebly.

That may well be true. But sometimes the silence of the audience can be blamed on a general reverence for the wines, awe for the winemaker or an intense focus on tasting and taking notes.

And sometimes the winter sky outside has never seemed so bleak, your smart phone so tempting or last nights escapades so vivid…

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