I know a blog is not supposed to be a space where one airs all their pet peeves, but why not? And besides, it feels really, really good. So here it goes.
But first: A sidebar on my recent Half-Birthday blog — I have received incredible support and congratulations on outing this source of suburban banality. Thank you for your kind words and outrageous stories.
So anyway, I like wine. I’m not a wine snob. I don’t seek out extravagantly priced wine at a restaurant. I don’t have to take my own on vacation (but I have done it as the wine at this resort was obnoxiously overpriced). I don’t drink an everyday house wine that exceeds my tab for a mani/pedi. I have some favorite wines at restaurants and some favorites at the wine store and some favorites at the supermarket. I have a general price point that I like to play in and on occasion I will splurge and really live life on the edge. I love to receive wine as I have lots of friends who have great taste in wines. I don’t record wines I have enjoyed (or hated – though that rarely happens) and I don’t care to read much about wines, except for well-regarded wines at attractive price points.
SO when I go to a restaurant and I have snooty wine steward (also know as a sommelier – how do you even say that word after a few glasses of wine, I ask?) and he wants to help me buy an $85 bottle of wine, I kind of cringe. I mean, I have friends who would love nothing more than to buy an $85 bottle of wine and said friends have even shared it with me. I once purchased an $85 bottle of wine at a restaurant in Asheville (happy birthday Missy!) What gets me is when I know for a fact (a FACT!) that the $85 bottle of wine is on VIC special at the Harris Teeter for $14.99. It kills me. And I know (from Lettie Teague and from my wine friends) that this might not be the same bottle or the same vintage and blah, blah, blah. And I also know that the sommelier is part of my dining experience and is there to only enhance that experience by making a flawless wine recommendation to perfectly complement my beef bourguignon. But I still can’t past the fact that I can get that wine at the Teeter on VIC special. In fact, once I had the nerve to ask a somelier why he had a wine on the menu marked at $48 when I could get it at the Teeter for $11. I wasn’t trying to be rude. I was genuinely, passionately and earnestly interested in the answer – I mean what service is he providing besides a gross mark up on Hess Select? The least he could do is mark up some wine I can’t get at the durn store and then convince me to drink it.