Note: This post is dedicated to my friend Gregg, who actually knows a thing or two about wine, and was nice enough to pay the wine tab at a recent dinner in NYC where the wine was more expensive than the dinner.
Tell me if this sounds familiar to you. You go out for dinner with a group of friends. One member of your group considers him/herself to be a descendant of the Rothschild wine family, and picks the wine for the table to enjoy. You actually prefer beer, vodka, scotch, etc., to wine, and enjoy one or two drinks, while the rest of your table slurps down on their “oh my, this is such a nice bottle” of wine.
Now comes the fun part…the bill arrives. The bottle or two or three that a few folks enjoyed is actually more than the food. Your one or two drinks is about $20 but somehow you get stuck paying for your share of wine, which can often double the cost of the total per person charge. Does Baron Rothschild offer to pick up the tab for the wine or split it with his drinking buddies, Ernest and Julio? No. You get stuck with your share of the wine bill and the taste of sour grapes in your mouth.
Here’s the issue I have with many wine drinkers. They think you drink wine to get drunk. Well kids, I have news for you – that’s not the purpose of wine. Wine (and many beers for that matter) is supposed to compliment your meal, not deaden your taste buds so that you can’t tell the difference between a porterhouse and a big mac. You wanna get your buzz on? Start with the hard stuff and get a nice moderately priced bottle of wine to go with your meal. That’s what a true wine expert will tell you.
Unfortunately for us non-wine drinkers, many so called wine connoisseurs are all air and no substance, just like the wines they drink. You know you are in trouble when the dinner conversation somehow turns to wine: Who has the biggest wine cellar, or who just bought and/or sold the most expensive case of wine, or who just had this fabulous bottle of ” ’69 Old Sour Grapes French CabofrÁnc” and it was only $500. These folks just love to hear themselves talk. The problem is most of the time they talk with a cork screw shoved up their arses but seldom with their wallets.