Saturday, December 23, 2006

In Which I Advise Strangers in a Wine Purchase

I don't know what it is about me, but I seem to invite trust from strangers. On any number of occasions while out for a lunchtime stroll I have been stopped in downtown Portland for directions; to the zoo, the Hilton hotel, or Pioneer Square among others. Helping another person this way is not entirely an altruistic act. There is the feeling of satisfaction from helping a fellow human find his way and expecting nothing in return, but there is also the unique satisfaction of being considered inviting enough to draw inquiry from a stranger and then being given the chance to demonstrate one's skillful navigational prowess.

Earlier today I was doing some shopping at a store which carries groceries and clothes, furniture and toys. I'll call it Fred Meyer's. I'll call it that because that is its name. Not 30 seconds after walking into the store, a woman pushing a cart looked me in the face and asked me did I know where the toy department was. Coincidence?

Later on I was in the wine section of the groceries when I overheard the two people next to me discussing wine. "Theoretically, this bottle..." said one, and he pointed to a $25 bottle of mass-produced California wine product, "...should be better than this bottle" and he pointed to some cheaper bottle. The other man said they should just look for the best-looking label and go with that. I was standing right next to them, twitching with expectation. Here is when all that drinking I've done will come in handy, I thought.

They're going to ask me for a recommendation, I'm standing right next to them. If they don't then I will just tell them what I think because that's the kind of pushy woman I am. Pushy, maybe, but then again I'm the one that knows where to find the toys AND the good wine.

"What type of wine are you looking for?" I asked, admittedly a little disappointed not to be asked when, couldn't they tell I just gave out primo directions to the toy department? The first guy answered they were looking for a good Merlot, and then confessed to not knowing a thing about wine. I suppressed a loud chortle because gee, I don't know what gave it away, ha ha! (Here's the really funny part: I don't know much about wine, either. I drink an awful lot of it and so can tell you from experience, but I hear that a particular label isn't the same from year to year, because of something to do with vintage blah blah this year's harvest blah blah weather. I don't let those kind of details stop me from giving advice, however.)

I said I'd be glad to help them find a good bottle, and pointed them to a $12.50 bottle of Genesis by Hogue Cellars. I myself selected a Cabernet.

It was fun, they were nice about it and glad to have some direction after staring at five shelves of bottles and not having a clue as to how to select one.

Tonight, I am enjoying that Cabernet in front of the fire. There's so much to do, but not tonight. OH is out with a friend who is in from out of town. OC is at her bio dad's. I've cleaned the living room floor, done some organizing, and packed a box full of breakables.


Merry Christmas!


Lady M said...

Wise you! I'd be stuck selecting on the basis of a pretty label.

Izzy said...

I don't know anything about wine, either. I make my selections based on which label I like best and whether I need a Merlot or a Pinot Grigio. That's my whole

Izzy said...

Ahahaha..I just read Lady M's comment. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!

Kristen said...

you can NEVER go wrong with a bottle of Hogue. They are still talking about your wine-choosing skills, I'm sure.

Jenny said...

Mmmm....cabernet. Puts my iced tea to shame.

Anonymous said...

I sat at a winery last week watching my dad taste three cabernets and discuss them with me, a hard liquor gal, at length. I am extremely late with my good holiday wishes, but I hope your New Year is fabulous. I'm happy (and mildly jealous) that you got to relax with some wine in front of the fire. I wish I could have joined you!