Anyone who knows me knows that I remain very down-to-earth when it comes to wine. With that being said, if I’m out at a restaurant (normally the inexpensive kind); and I see they are using some kind of crappy generic Costco-style wine glasses, I’m going to forego the wine and stick with beer.
I don’t for one second believe a restaurant should carry a different wine glass for every single style of wine they serve, but in order to appreciate a fine wine, a half-decent glass is an absolute essential; without a doubt, no argument to be had! Those nasty little goblet style glasses just don’t cut it!
I personally use William Yeoward Olympia glasses in my own home. They aren’t cheap and I only have one of each of their glasses in Bordeaux, Burgundy and white; but I you want a recommendation on the best wine glass which money can buy, that would be it.
I can never advocate drinking and driving, but it’s frustrating when public transport generally sucks, and taxi’s generally never arrive when they should, if at all!
This isn’t something which I have told too many people; but this year I was stopped for a DUI test while I was on vacation in Park City (Utah). The reason for the stop was speeding (a very bad habit of mine), but the officer decided to do a sobriety test anyway. I only had one glass of wine at dinner, so I passed with flying colors; but safe to say it was the most terrifying experience of my life. Don’t drink and drive. Seriously. Cab rides are expensive, but think about how much a DUI costs!
#3 Knowing it’s your last bottle
This one speaks for itself. The joy of uncorking a bottle wine from the cellar is the ultimate buzz-kill when the realization sets in that there’s no more vino left; and the selection at the only retailer which is open until late (usually a gas station) is less than stellar….
Ahhh yes, you’ve been hanging-on to that bottle of wine for a few years; you carefully remove the foil, and pop the cork as carefully as a man diffusing a bomb. You take your first sniff…..and…“Mmmm…. wet newspapers and mold”.
Corked wine isn’t a joking matter, and the screwcap vs. cork debate is one of the most contested (and boring) issues in wine today. Unfortunately there’s no way to bring back a corked wine; and even using it to cook with is debatable.
I judged a blind tasting about a year ago to determine the “best in show” wine. I arrived slightly late, and so everyone at my table had finished tasting all 5 wines by the time I got round to sampling the first one. I took my first sniff, and yes it was corked. Interestingly enough, a couple of people actually ranked the corked wine as being one of their favorites! Saying that, everyone has a different tolerance to corked wine. I happen to be hyper-sensitive, but that comes with experience (i.e. drinking a lot).
I don’t know what’s worse than opening a bottle of wine you’ve been holding on to for a while, only to find that it is corked or oxidized, apart from my last point…
This might surprise a lot of people that this is my #1 wine experience spoiler! I guess it’s probably more of a pet peeve than anything else, but to me the ultimate thing which can ruin a wine experience is bad company!
Depending on your preference for people you like to hang with, maybe even I am a terrible example of someone to drink wine with! I drink vino all day, so I have a hard time waxing poetic about the juice in my glass on my down-time. If you want my personal opinion, you can always ask for it; but I’m not going to be shoving it down your throat. Anyway, just because I love or hate a wine doesn’t mean that you have to think the same way.
Going back to my story earlier about the blind tasting: my table was also given a flight of 5 mystery wines described only as “Interesting Reds”. #5 was a Carménère from Chile (I knew just from the nose), and it was easily the best wine in the lineup. However no-one else at the table thought so, they all chose different wines as their favorites.
Did I berate them for not choosing my wine, explaining why my palate was superior, and the intricacies of said Carménère? No, of course not. People like what they like, and I think Sommeliers sometimes forget that.
Now, if someone chooses to bring Beringer White Zinfandel to a dinner party, I’m unfortunately not going to be joining them in a glass, but I’m also not going to cut them down for drinking it.
Wine is still just a drink, it’s a very small part of life, and there are much bigger things going on in the world to be worrying about. Does wine make everyday living that little bit more tolerable? Yes. Does it define who you are as a person? No.