Normally on Monday or Tuesday I post my weekend wine review and tell you all about the delicious wine I had that week or weekend. I’m going to break away from that today to tell a story.
I, by my own admission, am a curmudgeon. I’m not really going out on a limb saying this if you know me, but for those of you that don’t you might be thinking, “how can you be a curmudgeon, and write a blog about your thoughts and experiences?” The answer is simple; I only really have to interact with my keyboard. I appreciate all of you that read and enjoy this, but I can still be a solitary beast and write about the wonderful world of wine (nice alliteration!). So why am I telling you about this? That also is a simple answer, my personal attitude towards new and strange people is in direct conflict with the philosophy of wine itself. I want to say this boldly, WINE IS FOR SHARING! In all the years of drinking and enjoying wine I never realized the conflict until a few months ago.
To celebrate our wedding anniversary (I know, I’m still surprised she married me) we went to dinner at a fantastic local spot, Downtown 140. In addition to their great food they also have an excellent wine selection. Since it was a special occasion we decided to splurge on a great bottle of 2013 Caymus Cabernet (my review of the 2012 Caymus Cab). We are about a glass into the bottle when two older couples sit at the table next to us, nothing out of the usual. A short time later we notice the two men talking and gesturing to the bottle and I, in an amazing break of character, ask if they would like to see it. So, I pass it over and they talk wine for a few minutes, and we make general small talk. They pass the bottle back over and I sink into my hermit shell and go back to talking with my wife. This is where she and I differ (greatly); while I was happy to ignore the nice people next to us and go about my business, she suggested that we let them have a taste…I may have audibly gasped in the restaurant. In my head I thought “NO, THIS IS MY WINE!!”, but the reality of it was she is a nice person, and right (almost always, but don’t tell her that). We called our waitress over and had her offer the table a pour from our bottle. The two gentlemen (we’ll call them Jim and Mike) obliged and appreciatively thanked us and we talked back and forth about the wine for a few minutes. The conversation died down and we focused on ourselves. After some time had passed our waitress brought over two glasses of wine. The gentlemen had returned the favor and sent us both over a glass from there bottle, a 2010 Chambolle-Musigny. We tried to politely refuse (we still had our own bottle to drink), but they insisted that we should save our wine to drink with our meal. We accepted and graciously enjoyed their wine. As the night continued we would occasionally make small talk with the group. We later found out that Jim was semi-retired, and that he and his wife split their time between here and Charleston, SC, where they own a wine shop. At this point our night was winding down and we were finishing up our meals and enjoying the last few sips of our delicious bottle, when Jim looked up and said “your glasses look empty! I can fix that!”…and poof, two more glasses of wine arrived (the man may be a wine wizard!). They had ordered a second bottle with their dinner and wanted to make sure none of it went to waste. At this point, Jim was a bit rosy cheeked and a touch more animated, and he exclaimed “Wine is for sharing!” I think I may have laughed out loud as he said this, but after a few seconds it sunk in that he was right. What is the point of a good wine if you can’t share it with someone? In some cases it doesn’t even matter if you actually know the person or not. This was one of the most memorable meals I’ve had in years, not only was it celebrating an amazing occasion, but it really changed my opinion of how I enjoy my wine, and we made some friends (at least for the night).
At the end of the day, even if you are the curmudgeon-est, curmudgeon in curmudgeon-ville, take a chance and offer someone a glass; you never know you might just make a friend. “Wine is for sharing” is probably one of the most important phrases I’ve ever heard uttered about wine. It doesn’t matter if it’s a $5 or $500 bottle, if you are the only one drinking it, you are doing it wrong.
Go make a friend!