The other night, I went out with a girlfriend for dessert and a glass of wine. I have been friends with this woman for over 3 years (she was my first friend once we moved to Missouri) and we have been pretty much joined at the hip since. We are in the process of planning a church function and what better way to mix business and pleasure than to do our planning with a glass of wine and dessert!
When I do go out for wine, I often find myself with the debate: Order by the glass or go for the bottle? Ordering by the glass guarantees that one will not drink *too* much and is generally cheaper, but ordering by the bottle guarantees that your wine was not poured from a bottle opened for too long but then you have to figure out how to get it home, and what the re-corking policies are, etc. This night, I opted for the glass but I should have gone for the bottle.
I have never sent a glass of wine back and etiquitte dictates that one should only return a glass or bottle if the wine tastes “off” or has turned. I have been drinking wine for a while, but I am far from a wine snob. I know what I like and what I don’t and I know when wine tastes a little funny. And not the “ha-ha” type of funny. I ordered a Chevalier Pinot Noir and my dessert companion ordered a Malbec (both reds.) She was served right away but our server had a hard time finding my wine. After a bit, he came back and said that he thought they were out of the Chevalier so I opted for the Mondavi Pinot Noir. Once it arrived, I took that first sip, ready for the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from a smooth glass of Pinot and what I got was… less than that. OK, I’ll be honest, I made the “Whiskey Face.” You know what that is, right? It’s kin to a “Lemon Face” but a little worse.
I caught our server’s eye and explained the problem. He told me that he’d recently quit drinking but he would have management check it out. Here’s where my “issue” lies: When he came back, he told me that his manager said that the wine tastes fine but they would be happy to replace it with something else. I decided to replace it with the Malbec that my friend was drinking and we went on with our evening. But I am a dweller.
So since then, I have been dwelling a bit on the part about how management felt the wine tasted fine. Was my taste really that far off? I hadn’t been chewing gum or eating mints. In fact my last meal was about 90 minutes before we had our wine. I guess I would have felt fine had they just offered to replace the wine rather than telling me that the wine was fine because now I am thinking that they are thinking that I am this overly pretentious wine snob that *thinks* she knows what she is doing but really doesn’t. But I swear, this wine tasted skunky.
So that leads me to this new wine resolution: Order by the bottle and figure out how to take it home. Yes, it will cost more initially, but it’s better to know when and where your wine was opened rather than in the abyss that is the back of a restaurant! Or maybe I’ll just chalk this experience up to bad luck and just deal with it.
So what are your thoughts? Am I really freaking out for no reason at all? The restaurant is one where I frequent, either with my husband or lady friends, so I will be back there!