One of my favorite parts of my job is dealing with people who pretend to be sommeliers. For some reason the idea of knowing everything there is to know about wine is attractive to some. The best of course though is when you get a customer who pretends to have the wine knowledge of a true master sommelier, yet they order $4 glasses of wine. These are also the people that ask for samples of our house wine, its HOUSE wine, you should know what it’s going to taste like more or less. In fact, you should be able to determine the taste simply from the word house. House wine is not going to taste like the vineyards of Italy with deep, robust flavors. House wine is not going to taste like the rolling hills of California; it is going to taste like a $4 glass of wine, which is just fine for the price. When people request a sample of the house wine to see if it suits them, I always think to myself;
“You want a taste of a $4 glass of wine, really”?
Its four bucks, what’s the worst that could happen? Maybe you end up not liking it, but how bad can it really be for the price? The whole bottle is the cost of some of our wines by the glass.
But of course I bring them their sample and they swirl their glass back in fourth trying to impress their date. They hold their glass up to the light checking to see if it has legs. They stick their entire nose into the glass, pretending to pick up notes of this and that. And of course they like it, who wouldn’t its $4. But was all of this necessary? Was this show of how you know how to properly dissect wine essential? Besides, I can bet that the person you are trying to impress would have been more impressed if you decided to get a nice bottle of wine, as opposed to the happy hour glass of house merlot.
I get it; I’m not the person to spend a lot of money on alcohol. Personally, I even like wine from a box. I believe that box wine is extremely underrated. Its only $16 and it holds five 1.5L bottles, simple choice I think. I am not a sommelier and I do not pretend to be. I would rather get a cheap box of wine and not have to go to the liquor store every week, than drink fancy expensive wine. Besides, I doubt that I could tell you the difference between a nice, expensive glass of wine and a cheap glass of house wine. But at least I don’t pretend to be a wine coinsurer who only loves wine from Italy or wine that is expensive. All I’m saying is, don’t pretend to be a wine snob if you’re not, be proud of your smart spending and lack of taste for fine wine, I know I am.