Friday, April 23, 2010

You learn something new every day

Last night, we went out to dinner with some friends that we hadn't gotten together with in a long, long time.  It was great food and great conversation.  Since it was a bit of a celebratory event, with both of us moving on to a different and exciting location, we decided to order a bottle of wine.  It was up to me to order since I "know more" about wine.  I don't know if I know more, but I know what I like and don't like.  I don't like really acid-y wines nor do I like very full-bodied, wood-y wines.  So, generally I stick with Cabarnet Sauvignon wines here in Chile.  I had had a CS from a certain vineyard and it was quite good so I chose that one off the menu, but it was a "step up" (reserva especial) from the one I'd had.  So I thought we were safe.

When they opened the wine and got me to try, I almost spit it out.  It was horrible, awful, blech!  I got my friend to try it, thinking that maybe it was just me and my tastebuds.  She thought it was was too strong and acid-y as well.  So, I told the girl that we couldn't drink it and that we'd like to order something else.  About 10 minutes later, a guy came over and talked to us about the wines.  I told him what we wanted and didn't want in a wine and we went with something else.  It was OK, not great, but at least drinkable. 

When it came to getting our bill, we were charged for both bottles of wine and they brought the wine to us in a little bag to take home.  It seemed strange to me so we asked to see the bill again.  The guy who brought it out was a different person again and he said initially we were charged for only one wine.  I looked at it more carefully and nope, it was both bottles.  So, I got into a discussion with him.  (*Note: it was not an argument, only a discussion, though Derwin was terribly uncomfortable throughout it all.)  He was so busy trying to explain why we were charged for it that he wasn't listening to my questions.  I understand that we made them open the bottle (though they sell it by the cup so I don't understand why they couldn't have kept it to sell by the cup, but whatever, that's a different topic) so it's an expense.  So, after about 10 minutes of back and forth, this is what I found out...

1.  The reason they open the bottle and give you a taste is to see whether the wine is good or bad (meaning if it's "off"), not whether or not you like it.
2.  They will try it also to make sure it's bad.
3.  You go on your merry little way with a bottle of gross wine and a lot of money later.

Lesson learned?  If you don't know the exact wine on the menu, never order a whole bottle.  It's much safer to order by the glass, even though you don't get the same selection, because if you don't like it, it's only the glass you're paying for, not the whole bottle.

So, guess who's making some sangria today?  :)
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