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Wine and mortification

Years ago I was out for dinner with the trade show crew of the company I worked for. The company was paying, so we went to a pretty nice Italian restaurant — nice enough that it had a sommelier. The local coworker assumed control of ordering the wine. He fancied himself something of a wine expert, and after a brief conversation with the sommelier, a bottle of a red wine was ordered; it was probably about $50 in today’s money.

The sommelier returned with the bottles, went through the ritual of opening it, and poured a splash into our wine expert’s glass to evaluate. He closed his eyes and went through the heavy inhalation, the swishing around in his mouth, the unpleasant gargle, until he held the glass up, peered at it, and said to the sommelier:

“The wine is very good…but the glass is a bit cabinet-y.”

The sommelier apologized, scurried off, and returned with new glasses for all of us.

We then enjoyed an excellent wine, with hints of cherries, tobacco, and lavender, and a finish with notes of embarrassment.

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One Response to “Wine and mortification”

  1. They had a sommelier, but they evidently weren’t classy enough to have a vitrinier…

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