Sunday, December 27, 2009
Regifting...Really A Bad Thing?
I was up way too early the other morning watching some, on-at-the-ass-crack, morning program on MSNBC and they were discussing the most regifted holiday gift…wine, it was wine. At first this sent a little pang to my heart, both because I hate to hear any negative slant on my beloved beverage and as someone that works in a retail wine store, during hash economic times no less, well we don’t want to hear anything that may discourage people from coming to us for their holiday gift giving needs, but something interesting happened the longer I listened. One of the talking heads was saying that she often regifts bottles of white wine she’s given, (don’t even get me started on those red wines only people…um, does not make you cool or more knowledgeable, makes you short sighted and drinking like a newbie. I hear that and I already know what kind of wine, “drinker” I’m dealing with…crusty. These are the same people that adore Champagne but hate white wine…um, stop it. Like the guy that won’t drink Sancerre, (white wine being fruity and for the ladies and all) but loves Paso Zinfandel…dude, shall we check the residual sugars? But I digress) and the guy she was talking to said that he often regifted red wines as he prefers white.
Now aside from my head splitting apart from the whole, “who drinks what” thing, something occurred to me, so if you gift a wine to someone that does not like that type of wine, would you rather them drink it because you want them to, or help them solve a gift giving problem but using the gift to please another? Is not the ultimate goal to please? In this kind of regifting situation you have pleased two people, the receiver that was in a gift giving bind and the eventual recipient of the bottle you purchased…that’s all good right? I’ve had people come in the shop and say things like, “I want to get them a bottle of wine but I don’t want them to just give it away”…never quite understood why people are so concerned about what happens once their gift is given, seems a tad controlling and just a smidge arrogant to me…the way in which they receive pleasure from your gift should be of no interest, just that did in fact enjoy it right? I know I have, "enjoyed" giving away a bottle or two of Rombauer Chardonnay I was given....no guilt in letting it whither on my kitchen counter, placing it in the hands of someone I know will adore it...well, hell that's a win win for me!
So it just so happens I was given two amazing gifts of wine this year, a case of older French wine and a bunch of older, cult-ish California wines. The thing that struck me about these gifts was that they were more than bottles of wine, they were treasures that had been saved, tucked away, cherished. Wines that someone had purchased, (or was given for all I know) and that they had laid down, resisted and waited to savor….time, within my gifted boxes of wine I was given the gift of time. What’s the going rate on time and patience these days? Um, I’m going to have to say priceless. The fact that two people felt their time and patience was worth sending to me…um, speechless, left me speechless. How does one say thank you for such a thing?
So as I sat fondling my bottles, (yes…yes I did, total dork I know) I started thinking of when, where and with whom I might share these newly acquired treasures. See the thing is, a bottle of wine is more than a beverage, it’s an experience. The right bottle, on the right night, with the right person/people and that bottle can be elevated to legendary status. The, “Oh my Gawd do you remember that wine” and “If it hadn’t been for that bottle of (insert name of super special wine here) I would have never, (insert whatever naughty behavior here)”.
Even if the bottle becomes one of those, pop while cooking dinner after a long day bottles. The way that first sip can wiggle down your spine, soothe each and every little ache, steal your thoughts from the mundane daily doings, coax you into a mellow, soft shouldered state….a seduction of sorts. Touching you, caressing, dancing across your day weary palate…bringing much needed, much longed for pleasure after a long hard day at work….um, would you really give a crap where the person that was responsible for this….feeling, got the bottle? I for one wouldn’t, just the fact that they saw fit to share it with me….
Buy them, tuck them away, share them, give them away but know that whoever is lucky enough to eventually pop those corks will think you’re quite generous and be very grateful for the….experience.