Friday, June 21, 2019

Dahl Study: Taste

My author study of Roald Dahl started with a reading of his Collected Stories while watching the accompanying episode of Tales of the Unexpected. Each Friday I'll recap a story and show (with spoilers, just so you know), but I encourage you to read and watch them on your own if you're interested!

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"Taste" from Collected Stories (read 1/11/19)

A wine connoisseur comes to a man's house for dinner. The man loves to challenge the connoisseur to identify his wines, and this time he thinks he'll have him stumped. He wages a bet to make it interesting. The connoisseur keeps raising the stakes, and since the man is so sure the connoisseur won't guess correctly, he keeps agreeing. If the wine connoisseur loses, he gives the man two houses. If the connoisseur wins, he gets to marry the man's daughter. The connoisseur takes his time identifying the wine, building suspense, and eventually guesses correctly. Everyone is dumbfounded, until the maid brings the connoisseur his glasses from where he left them in the study when he went in and looked at the wine bottle's label before dinner.

"Taste" from Tales of the Unexpected (viewed 6/4/19)

This episode was just like the story. It was somewhat jarring to see how young the daughter was and how old and creepy the wine connoisseur was, but I guess that just adds to the suspense of the marriage bet. I think there was a little more foreshadowing about the study in the episode, because it's mentioned several times. The man is initially in the study before the wine connoisseur comes for dinner. When the wine connoisseur comes over, he asks for soda water to cleanse his palate, and goes away to use it privately. It is discussed at dinner that the study is the best place for wine to breathe, and that the man determined that location with help from the wine connoisseur. So it was not surprising when the maid brought in his glasses and said she found him in the study. It made sense that they would be there and that the wine connoisseur knew where the wine was kept, but still packed a punch for the ending of the story to realize what happened and that he's a cheater.

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