Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wine Tasting, Perfume and Snobbery

Last night, B-man and I attended a wine tasting at the only winery in our city.  Napa Valley we're not. 

This particular tasting was a stand up, walk around, taste-the-wine-and-food event.  I love that because then we're not stuck with several other people at a table.  Yes, I know I could get to know them better that way, but honestly, making new friends is not my objective.

Have I mentioned that I'm a bit anti-social?

Perhaps that's because every day of my working life is spent being surrounded by people, addressing multiple questions and concerns and practicing my open door policy, blah, blah, blah.  

On my own time, I rarely seek social outlets.  Solitude is the way I regenerate.

So last night, I found myself in the new (but comfortable) space of simply...being.  I stood around, watched people, drank wine and ate fussy finger food.  Occasionally, I engaged in peripheral chit-chat, but successfully avoided any long conversations.

My goal was to remain as shallow as possible.

Of course, I wore perfume.  Snobby wine drinkers feel that pairing perfume with wine is a faux pas, but I figure Jardin en Mediterranee is incapable of destroying the 'nose' of any wine.  

Even the woman dragging around the powerful sillage of Aromatics Elixir didn't spoil my experience.

Daphne knows how to multi-task.

Snobbery regarding wine is as annoying and pretentious as snobbery about perfume.  As I wandered from table to table (drinking the first wine offered), selecting multiple hors d'oeuvres, a man approached me and said, 'you know, they have paired different wines with the food at each table.'

No shit, Sherlock - thanks so much for stating the obvious, and what would I do without your guidance? 

I replied, 'Yes, I'm aware of that, but I'm taking what I want now anyway.'  

Bite. Me.

Later, I overheard another person say, 'these are acceptable everyday wines, I suppose, but if I want a great Petite Sirah, I'll simply open one from my cellar.'

OMG, really?

All of the wines were delightful to my palate, and we were each given a bottle to take home.  My favorite thing about them?  

The labels are really pretty.

Shallowness achieved.

image from


  1. Thank you, Josephine, for the biggest laugh I've had all day! Amazing, isn't it, the drivel people will spout when they're trying to impress!

    I'll stick with the shallow...any time, with or without the Petit Syrah! ;-)

  2. You're my kind of wine taster. I don't know nuthin' bout wine except sometimes it tastes good when I drink it. On those occasions, I'm told it's usual a dessert wine I'm sipping next to my fish course, to which I say, "Oh really?" Long sip. "How interesting." I say this as blandly as possible. Then I turn pointedly to the person on the other side of me and take another long sip.

    Message sent: my money is just as good as yours is, sucker, and they vineyard doesn't give a whiff when I drink it. Now show me a shiny bottle label with a clever name, damnit! :)

  3. tarleisio, thanks for your comment! I'm glad you found the post amusing and I, too, am amazed at the need to impress.

    I actually quite enjoy throwing out my pedestrian side regarding wine, perfume or anything else.

  4. Hi Diana - yes, give me the superfluous pleasures first (a sexy label), then I'll worry about the actual content.

    And could everyone just MYOFB about how anyone else chooses to enjoy wine (at a tasting or otherwise)?

    If I can break the rules, all the better.

  5. "Daphne knows how to multi-task." cracked me up!

    Like you, I am more than happy with the Appellation of wine Mr Bonkers refers to as a "five quidder". Seven and eight quidders are nice too, but my cruising price is probably a fiver.

  6. Hee. I need to sheesh at those partygoers.

    Just a few years ago, I couldn't deal with wine. Now I've learned that I like (1) white, (2) sweet, often dessert-wine sweet, (3) German or Austrian and (4) fruity. So far, no one has gone out of their way to tell me that I shouldn't be drinking that with, say, a rare steak, but if they do I suspect I'll tell them to run along.

  7. I, too, dislike wine snobbery. My boyfriend is a wine sales rep working in San Francisco and the peninsula so he gets to go to a good number of tasting events and I got to go with him on occasion. We're both from Sonoma County so we grew up surrounded by vinophiles. While I can sympathize with your frustrations regarding attendee's inane comments, I don't understand your (and other commenters') aggressive defense of ignorance and shallowness. Are you drinking the wine label? You'll likely be throwing that bottle out soon... I think it's sad that people overlook wine quality in favor of looks. It's like dating a dull and dumb man simply because he's handsome. This also reminds me of a girl in knew when I was in my teens who proudly proclaimed she'd never read a full book in her life. Why is that a good thing?
    -- AnneMarie

  8. Hi Vanessa,

    One should drink the wine that one enjoys, period. No need to take it so seriously. Carry on with the five quidder!

  9. Chickenfreak, hello! Glad that you know the categories of wine that you truly enjoy. It truly is no one's concern but your own. Thanks for your comment!

  10. AnneMarie, hello and welcome! I'm glad that you, too shun snobbery in wine. My husband and I have belonged to multiple wine tasting/wine study groups for over 20 years. I know my way around all levels of wine quality and could hold my own with any wine snob if I were interested in doing so.

    Ignorance is very different than selective shallowness.

    This particular tasting openly featured wines of mid-level quality, simply to discuss and enjoy. Snobbery had no place there.

    And - bonus - the labels really are pretty.

    Thanks for your comment!



Related Posts with Thumbnails