Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pet Peeves from the Tasting Room - part one

People who ignore the dump bucket and pour their wine into the water pitcher. We are used to this and when we catch it, just quickly whisk the offended pitcher off to the sink to be washed. But now we are smarter. We don't put out a water pitcher. Water coats the glass and is difficult to remove. The previous wine is more like the next wine and rinses cleaner. If you must rinse, we will use the next wine.

People who rinse between each sample. Rinsing is not necessary between samples. In fact, the water at 0% alcohol and zero taste affects the next wine more than the previous wine would. Only rinse when you go from red back to white. Again, we don't provide pitchers any more.

People who fill their glass with water and rinse between samples. This usually happens on festival weekends when you don't have enough people to keep the dump buckets emptied. Folks, it doesn't take eight ounces of water to rinse 1/10 ounce of wine from a glass. Hence, no more pitchers.

People who can't dump water on the ground. During event weekends when people have their own glass, we put a rinse pitcher outside for people to use because they usually tasted red wine at the last winery. They carry the full glass into the tasting room asking us to dump it for them. I know people from the city always put things down the drain. Here in the country, we spit and piss right on the ground.

People who ignore the dump bucket on the bar and look around to pour their rinse water into a waste basket. Okay, if this sounds petty, but just try dumping a quart of water into your paper-only waste basket at home or work. Clue: it's a yucky mess. No more pitchers! Do you get the pitcher, mister?

People who only drink "red" wine thinking it some sort of sign of sophistication. Sorry, you are only impressing us with your ignorance of wine. All wines have their place and there is nothing 'superior' about red wine. In fact, it is easier to make red wine than white wine. Any idiot can make a decent red wine in his garage (and probably get $40 a bottle for it.) White wine is prone to oxidation and needs expensive tanks and refrigeration. Garagistes don't have an 8-ton refer unit sitting outside.

People who try to impress you with their (lack of) knowledge. We hear some doozies. If the person behind the counter is well-trained, you will come across as a buffoon. If they aren't well-trained, they will just think you are full of shit.

Large groups who arrive unannounced. It sounds fun, get together with 12 friends and go slam the local tasting room which has only one person on staff that day. In fact, arrive at the same time as the group of ten chooses to arrive so no one gets any attention. Please call ahead if you group has more than six to make sure you can be accommodated.

Large groups of disinterested relatives who don't really like each other's company, but went wine tasting as a diversion. This is the corollary to the above. One person suggested they go wine tasting because he/she was going crazy cooped up with these idiots. So, let's go wander indifferently around the tasting room and make other people hate us too. Beats the hell out of sitting around discussing the weather.

People who bounce all over the tasting room. A corollary to the above. Your server tries to keep track of you and what you like. When you wander off and come back to a different server, they have to start all over getting to know you.

People who bounce all over the wine list, first tasting a sweet Riesling then going to a Chardonnay. Wine lists at wineries are usually in some sort of order. If you are unsure of the order, just ask for guidance. Plan your tasting and only taste those wines you are interested in and do so in the proper order. (I suggest a limit of three.) Do not say "surprise me" or "what is your best wine?" We don't make bad wine; well sometimes we do, but you will never taste it.

Do you have any? Please post them.

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