"Overpay and Under Deliver"

I‘m looking forward to Tuesday. Would you be able to bring us a bottle of wine? I would be very self conscious about choosing something for us and I’d be most likely to overpay and under deliver.


I love this. I love that instead of my friend Carrie taking an uneducated stab at purchasing wine, she has deferred to my better judgment. But that didn’t help her out much.

I only have two thumbs; but seem to have more rules.

First rule of thumb (what does that mean anyway?) is never bring a really good and/or expensive bottle to a novice. I’m not blaming this on the recession. I’m blaming it on the fact that I don’t like to waste good wine.

Second rule of thumb: If said novice is interested in learning a little about wine, you can bring a decent bottle. But I still wouldn’t break into my cellar for it. Nuances may be lost; subtleties ignored, swirling/sniffing/tasting gone by the way of a guzzler.

Third rule of thumb: Know your audience. If you are sending me wine to taste and report on…don’t send me your worst effort unless you don’t mind criticism. This came up recently when a friend asked me to try a wine that wasn’t selling. I think it was a Zin as the alcohol content was a ridiculous 22 or 25 % (is that even legal?)

It was so hot on the palate, 15 minutes later didn’t change it, that it went down the sink. And my friend was okay with the outcome. Even gave me another bottle to review, same winery, same amount alcohol, same outcome.

Forth rule of thumb: Bringing wine to my home for a dinner party or as a gift. I’ve written on this before. Again, in knowing your audience (me), don’t bring me something you spied in the supermarket, on the bottom shelf, that only appealed to you for the price or pretty label. Not how wine bloggers choose wine. Skip it. Save your money and bring me cocktail napkins with catchy phrases…I’ll like them and use them!

Fifth, and hopefully final, rule of thumb: Suggesting wine to me at a wine bar or restaurant. If you know me, or your customer, don’t suggest a wine that you happen to love or are pushing. If I ask your opinion, then give it. If you know what I usually like, feel free to suggest in that category.

So, what did I bring Carrie? None of your business. It was a gift from a tasting event. It was dismal upon opening. Dismal 15 minutes later. Browned in my glass like toast. But Carrie, being a perfect hostess, said nothing about it. She learned a little about how to hold her stemware, took the time to swirl and sample and comment.
But next time, I will have graduated her to a better wine.

3 thoughts on “"Overpay and Under Deliver"

  1. I love being the subject of your post today! And, while I am not well educated when it comes to wine, I do appreciate a good pour. I may not be able to catch all the subtleties yet, but that's what I'm hanging out with you for! I enjoyed my stemware lesson and your company and I agree that the wine we shared wasn't the best. However, nobody will get the name out of me, because I don't remember it. So, our secret is safe. On those lines, I also loved your hot tip to use my phone to take pictures of the labels of wine that I like so I can keep track of it. Brilliant!

    On a personal note, I did not buy the bar for my party tomorrow night, so come prepared. If the wine disappoints, switch to martinis.

    Lots of Love,

  2. To clarify: I suggested Carrie take photos of wine bottles that she liked as we remember labels, but not always whether it was one we liked or not. So, next time, when buying wine you have your phone's photos, and not your wine-soaked memory alone, to guide you.

    So, Carrie, who bought your bar for tomorrow night? Maybe they need a little wine 101 advice…?

  3. 5 thumbs!! You make some fine points, grasshopper! Hope you're feeling better today.


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