Or “Winesecurity” as I like to think of it. That moment when, after presenting your ‘perfect’ bottle of wine to guests, friends, whoever; you suddenly wonder if you have actually chosen the ‘perfect’ bottle of wine. It happens to me a lot, and I take a lot of notes on the wines in my inventory (I can’t call it a cellar, it is more like a loose collection of bottles in various boxes stored in various places). There are wines that I have noted are dry, but then on tasting again aren’t as dry as I thought. Or that I think are perfect for something, but then maybe don’t seem as perfect as I thought. Maybe I’m over thinking it, but when people begin to look at you as some sort of authority I think you begin to worry over much about your rep!
There are things that I want to keep in mind at these moments. Like after tasting wines for an afternoon, I am bound to be suffering from comparison shock. Drink a sweet wine, then a dryer one – the dryer one will often seem like the desert after a sufficiently sweet wine. Or the other way – a dry wine tasted before a sweet one could make the sweet one feel twice as much so. I’m sure that all tasting room managers must suffer from anxiety on how best to showcase their wines.
In some instances it is less expensive to expensive on the tasting menu (because of course they want you to be thinking of how great that last wine was if the last wine is the $75 bottle, rather than forgetting that one because it was way back on the menu). Some are listed from lighter to bolder (which is why you often see whites before reds). Some acidic to sweet. And some are a combination of some or all or other algorithms altogether. Great for the tasting room folks, but some times hard on the rest of us. That wonderful, crisp Pinot Blanc you had at winery X suddenly becomes a little too sweet when taken on it’s own. That beautifully balanced Syrah is suddenly too spicy for the meal your friend fixed. Argh.
So what do you do? Maybe the best you can do is smile and shrug your shoulders if and when that moment happens. I am slowly learning to shut up, mainly because I am my own worst critic. Especially as I realize that when I do hold my tongue, no one else seems to be complaining. In fact, to date, I can honestly say that the only person who has ever gotten huffy about a particular wine choice of mine is, well, me.
I just need to face it, sometimes I am going to mis-choose. Sometimes I am going to be off. Most of the time I will at least be in the ballpark! Just last night I brought a bottle of Willamette Valley Vineyards Dijon Clone Chardonnay to my brother Erik’s house. I had remembered this as a really great dry white. We opened the bottle, I took a sip and I immediately said “hmm, this is way sweeter than I remember!” His response? He liked it. Mr. Dry as the Gobi White Wine was just fine with it. And you know what? It was just fine with the salad and pizza we had. Really good, actually. Like two glasses good.
Tomorrow night I suspect we will be breaking out the Domaine Meriwether Rose sparkling wine. It is lovely and dry, a beautiful blush color and full of sparkly, fruity goodness. The first words out of my mouth on that one are going to be “Yum!” And hopefully I can leave it at that…