English Test 69
Directions for Questions from 1 to 5:
Read the passage and answer five questions following it. Choose the best option for each
At the heart of the enormous boom in wine consumption that has taken place in the English-speaking world over the last two decades or so is a
fascinating, happy paradox. In the days when wine was exclusively the preserve of a narrow cultural elite, bought either at auctions or from
gentleman wine merchants in wing collars and bow-ties, to be stored in rambling cellars and decanted to order by one's butler, the ordinary drinker
didn't get a look-in. Wine was considered a highly technical subject, in which anybody without the necessary ability could only fall flat on his or her
face in embarrassment. It wasn't just that you needed a refined aesthetic sensibility for the stuff if it wasn't to be hopelessly wasted on you. It
required an intimate knowledge of what came from where, and what it was supposed to taste like.
Those were times, however, when wine appreciation essentially meant a familiarity with the great French classics, with perhaps a smattering of
other wines—like sherry and port. That was what the wine trade dealt in. These days, wine is bought daily in supermarkets and high-street chains
to be consumed that evening, hardly anybody has a cellar to store it in and most don't even possess a decanter. Above all, the wines of literally
dozens of countries are available on our market. When a supermarket offers its customers a couple of fruity little numbers from Brazil, we scarcely
raise an eyebrow.
It seems, in other words, that the commercial jungle that wine has now become has not in the slightest deterred people from plunging
adventurously into the thickets in order to taste and see. Consumers are no longer intimidated by the thought of needing to know their Pouilly-
Fume from their Pouilly-Fuisse, just at the very moment when there is more to know than ever before.
The reason for this new mood of confidence is not hard to find. It is on every wine