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Friday, March 1, 2019

Time for Wine

Time for Wine
Having indulged in stupid nostalgia posts on diapers and beer openers, I am now wasting more internet ink on a useless stupid subject, wine.

Before I go any further, I need a disclaimer.  I am not a wine expert. 

I have three criteria for a fine wine.

1.      I like the taste.

2.      It is not expensive; any bottle over $20 cannot taste good enough for me.

3.      I don’t have a hangover in the morning.

If it tastes bad, who wants it.  I once had a very expensive bottle of wine with friends. The wine had gone bad but we were too unsophisticated to realize wine can go bad.  We all raved about how great this wine was even though we never even finished the bottle.  It was actually very expensive vinegar.

If a bottle costs over $20, I admit I simply am not able to discern any of those special aromas or flavors that cost so much.  I will not waste the money.  Those that can discern those special aromas and flavors are welcome to pay the premium…many people can tell a difference…many people claim they can but in reality are full of crap to go along with the expensive wine.

A very nice tasting wine at a very reasonable price that leaves you with a hangover in the morning is worth way less than the inexpensive price you paid.

I enjoy a nice glass of wine from time to time; time to time generally being with dinner. 

Traditionally good wine was always stored in a bottle with a cork stopper.  You can buy wine with a screw-off top, or you can buy it in a box, but connoisseurs (read snobs) would tell you that screw-off tops do not compare with the traditional cork and boxes of wine are definitely not for a discerning consumer.

These wine snobs would tell you that the cork somehow preserves the special flavors and aromas of a fine wine like no other stopper can.  Lately natural cork has become over harvested and more expensive, so wine snobs are beginning to accept artificial “corks.”

I once asked an expert on wine, a “sommelier,”  “Why isn’t a screw-off cap as good as a cork?” 

He explained, but swore me to silence, so do not tell anyone I repeated this.

“There is no difference.  Wine from a screw-off cap bottle is just as good as wine that is corked”…the difference, he said is, “If you pay $100 at a restaurant for a bottle of wine, you also pay for the ambiance of the ritualistic removal of the cork!  A twist-off is not dramatic and allowing the patron to feel and sniff the metal cap would just not do…otherwise, buy the screw off!”

I asked about artificial cork and was told it was even better at storing an open bottle of wine than the real cork.  This is totally useless information to me, as an unfinished bottle of wine only means the wine failed the first of my wine criteria.

I asked this expert,

“What about wine in a box?”

He answered with a look of disdain,

“Sir, please, you go too far!”

I prefer the screw-offs, but if you must buy wine with a cork, there are about 20 different cork puller products.  Most work well if used correctly unless the cork is dry which usually means the wine is bad anyway.  I have had to push a few crumbly corks into a bottle only to find the wine not worth drinking.

Here is one you might not want to try.  

If you pound the butt end of a bottle in a shoe against a wall the cork will come out...eventually...maybe.

For proper dinning ambiance. This is the correct opener, but if used incorrectly you look like an idiot.
This is my favorite, and it can even be used to re-cork a bottle, which I’ve never had need to try.

That’s all I’ve got.  Drink up!


  1. Bwahahahahahahaha. We have a few wine snobs in our yacht club. I love them to pieces and if I want to know what wine to buy I ask one of them. I'm a champagne drinker, not a wine drinker. I go cheap.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. 😎

  2. We bought a bottle of French wine on the advice of an 'expert' was terrible.

  3. My Greek Uncle had a wine cellar. Made his own stuff and I loved seeing the big barrels and even the smell was nice. But I would get sick when I drank the stuff back in my youth. I don't drink at all now but I think the vineyards on the Hallmark movies always look so lovely. Now, I have known a lot of screw offs and frankly they were pretty fun to hang around with. Have a great weekend and have a sip of vino for me!

  4. I tried a sip of wine once. I guess I was expecting grape juice flavor. Not for me!

  5. Well, Silver Oak Cab is NOT cheap! But yes, I agree with everything your sommelier said. Great wines can be found in the $10-15 range. But I admit to preferring a $38 bottle of Rombauer Chardonnay for special occasions. The most discernible difference in reds is that the older, more expensive ones are much smoother. Anyway, one of my favorite subjects!

  6. Why does the sommelier give you a little drop to taste before serving the wine? When he did so, I told him, "Come along my man, fill the glass. I am not a wee little bird ye ken?"

    Has anyone actually ever returned a bottle once opened? Did the restaurant do this gracefully or did they get their revenge by other means?

    God bless.

    1. If stored improperly, sometimes wine goes bad, especially reds and especially old expensive reds. Plus the test taste thing is all part of "The Show." If the wine had turned it only takes a drop to know and the restaurant would gladly bring out a new bottle.

      The stuff I buy is never old enough to go bad, but still I swirl it, stick my nose in and sniff before I test taste...I have no idea why, but I enjoy the show.

  7. Back when I was drinking, cheap wine always worked fine for me. Screw off the cap and have at it. I'm not proud and I'm not snooty.

  8. What galls me, as we all know, that when you go out to a restaurant you pay $30 or more for the wine you can get at the local grocery store for $10 or less. These days we've taken on some Friday nights, our "date night" to bring food in and get that $10 of wine. Saves on the wine and the tipping (yep we are getting cheap in our old age). We do like to visit wineries on our trips and will purchase bottles of wine for over $30 there. Then when we get around to drinking them a few months or years later we wondered why we liked them at the time.

    I have a box of wine in the fridge. Sometimes I just want a glass of wine and for me its more economical that way, but then I just like wine, I'm not a "snob" about it :)


  9. many of my family members are wine drinkers, but not me. I simply do not like the taste. It may just be a matter of finding the "right" one, but I can't be bothered. I'm happy enough without wine in my life. I have water, coffee, hot chocolate and herbal teas. That's enough.

  10. I hate to say this but I have never, ever opened a bottle of wine. I wouldn't know how since hubby and waiters were the ones to do it. You can tell I'm not a true wine drinker, can't you? Give me herbal tea any day, preferably peppermint or lemon and ginger.

  11. I rarely drink, but when I do (laughing, I am not a bewhiskered gentleman) I go for beer. Wine gives me the most intense headaches, even after one small glass. But I have known a few wine snobs in my day, which reminds me that they are jazz snobs as well. Must go hand in hand.

  12. Back in the day I wasn't a wine drinker but did like beer. The only wine I drank was in the 60's--Boones Farm's finest or Morgan David Concord grape so you can see I am not much of a judge.

  13. Do you remember $2-buck-Chuck wine from Trader Joe's? It was pretty good.

    1. Two-buck-Chuck is now Three-buck Chuck! Still pretty good, though.

  14. You have the right criteria, if it tastes good to you, it's good.

  15. I'm not a wine expert, either. My wine preferable is red, sweet, and has a cute label.