Working Front-of-the-House in the Service Industry in various venues, you’ll inevitably have to get your learn-ed on, in terms of wine basics. At the very least, you’ll have to become well-versed in faking it with a showy, resume-word-laden service spiel, that “implies” you know what the fuck you’re talking about when it comes to sour grapes. Now, if you’re employed by a dive bar (and actually have a red and a white offering beyond Fonzie jugs of Manischewitz) you may not have to know much more than which variety is dry and which is – ehem – sweet. On the flip side, if you’re fortunate enough to land a high-income gig at a trendy Steakhouse, unionized Hotel bar, any French/Italian Restaurant, or the myriad of genres in between, which have actually put some thought into their wine lists, you must possess basic Somm skills.
This lovely evening has graced the New York City area with Mother Nature’s finest imitation of shit London weather. I fucking love London. I don’t love London’s weather (or Londoners’ teeth). When it gets all rainy and overcast like this, I grow fond of planting my dumb ass firmly on the couch. I like to compliment the R&R by consuming serious quantities of cheap vino, that I’ve convinced myself is a far more expensive varietal. I usually accomplish my mission by dribbling some $5 Trader Joe’s crap into a fancy, over-sized crystal goblet. I’ll swish it around, study the “legs,” rest in the “nose” for a minute, and finally, gargle the first gulp like a banshee. Good show, eh?
The only rub is that I have to keep getting my lazy arse up to refill my lovely goblet lest my buzz go by the wayside. The solution? Vat19′s Texas-sized gargantuan wine glass. Itholds a fucking fifth of liquid people. That’s an entire bottle of wine – 750ml.
I’ve decided that I’m in the wrong business. I should not be bartending. I need to dream up some ridonculous (but truly useful) products in the footsteps of my Clapper, Chia Pet, Snuggly, and Foreman Grill predecessors.
[Bar Dude #1] Mmm…. You gettin’ smoke on that? Oh yeah! I’m fer sure gettin’ smoke – Hickory embers. The legs on this are workin’ for me. Me? I’m detecting old – ugh- Fromage de Chevre, some vintage Moroccan shoe leather and – uhhhh – magic marker.
[Bar Dude #2] Dude, you’re SO stupid! You’re doing it all wrong! This blend is all mossy with kick-ass tannins and an ever so slight peachy-ness. Err… yeah – and I’m definitely gettin’ some musty Oak on it – and… wait – sweaty ballsac – yeah!
Cool thing is about wine, is that no matter what you say, you’re not wrong and neither the dude next to you with a completely different opinion. The interpretation is nearly all subjective. Sure there are plenty of sommeliers out there and all kinds of technical characteristics that can be applied to wine tasting. But for most folks, again, it’s all in your head – personal preferences.