Monday, January 19, 2009

So You Know Something About Wine...

You've managed to acquire some wine expertise without becoming a wine snob. Congratulations!Dodged that bullet! You're enthusiastic about wine and want to share that enthusiasm with your friends and family! Great! But, hold up a second bub: Are you letting your love of wine ride shotgun, while poor old manners gets shoved into the backseat? Avoiding these common pitfalls in social situations will ensure you don't go from wine enthusiast to wine bore/(boor):

1. The Analysis
You're visiting friends or family. They're not big wine drinkers but they always keep a bottle on hand. Your host pulls the Two Buck Chuck out of the fridge and pours you a glass. Here's where you need to resist the urge to start swirling, sniffing and listing off aromas in your wine. It's Two Buck Chuck--it smells like wine. Just drink it.By no means whatsoever, should you make the Oak Monster face--I don't care if there are oak shavings floating in the glass. Making a big show of analyzing the wine in your glass will not only make your host feel uncomfortable, it'll make you look like a tool. Granted, this can be one of the hardest behaviors to avoid, if like me, you routinely swirl and sniff your water glass out of sheer habit.

2. The Wine List
Let's say your parents are taking you out to dinner. What's the first thing we all do when we sit down in a restaurant? Open the wine list of course! It's very tempting to want to check out how the establishment has done on their wine list. Unless you're buying, try to resist. If you must look at the wine list, try to wait until after your host has chosen something and make your review brief and quiet. Whatever you do, don't pick up the wine list and start remarking on every wine on the list, as well as, the overall quality of the list aloud to the table. If you really can't stand it, offer to buy the wine up front so you can have free run of the wine list, but still refrain from deriding the quality of the list if it's a restaurant your hosts have chosen.

3. The Review
In the final scenario, you may be a guest or the host. The wine being poured is of a quality deserving your attention. Of course you are going to swirl and sniff, and all that fun stuff. Perhaps, even your hosts/guests may join in with you for a little name-the-aroma fun. Still, try to refrain from going into a twenty-minute sonnet about the wine. While your hosts will be pleased to hear that you enjoy the wine, they may not share your fondness for waxing poetic about wine in general. Just remember the reason you're there is to enjoy each other's company, and save the wine love-fest for a more appropriate venue like a tasting event.

In short, keep your head when that temptress wine enters the room and mind your Ps & Qs. Now go forth and quench your thirst; and use your wine powers for good!


john witherspoon said...

haha, great post B and and so true! good tips


Dirty said...

So true.

Always be respectful to those kind enough to serve, pour, or offer you wine.

At a family friend's, I was recently poured some jug wine Chablis. Though challenging, I kept my mouth shut.

It can be tough to do, but almost always the right thing to do.

Erika said...

Nice points! There are too many toolish wine lovers. Another one: try to avoid chuckling at strange questions that newby wine tasters may have. It's hard to resist but important! You don't want to dissuade their future learning.

Taster B said...

Oh, good one Erika! No scoffing at noob questions--absolutely essential.

Durdy, nice going! I find it always helps if you have wine friends that can empathize with you when you share those experiences after the fact.

John, I'm glad you liked these tips cuz I wrote them just for you. ;) jk