I’ve said it a million times. I’ve written about it here, bent customer’s ears and frankly bored the shit out of the people that spend any real amount of time with me with my almost compulsive need to point it out over and over again. I site it when I make my arguments about blind tastings, about any tastings really and have seen with my very own eyes people change their mind about something they thought they knew because of it. Wine is almost never just about what is in the bottle, it’s never that simple and for me that is one of the most compelling, interesting and sexy parts about it. What you are eating, your mood, the people you’re with….each of those things can add another layer of, seasoning if you will. More complexity, more intensity more “flavoring” of what is in the glass by what is on the plate or who is around the table. Sexy as hell to me but every once in awhile that element of trying to pair a wine to a situation….well it can backfire.
I recently had a long awaited moment, a profoundly important meeting an intricate blending of complex personalities that I felt warranted an equally complex and important bottle of wine. I even picked a restaurant kind of known for its simple, (read bland but fine) food…like an old school prime rib joint, one of those places that still serves shrimp cocktails and texturally unsound side dishes. I chose it because I knew there would be nothing on the menu that would interfere or fight to steal the attention away from the wine or the conversation, a place where the people and the wine would be in the spotlight. So yeah….backfire.
You ever one of those moments in your life where you can hear and feel yourself saying and doing things that are so unlike you, so hurtful and cruel that even while the hum from saying them is still vibrating in your chest that you simply cannot believe what is happening? Like some tweaked out, demonic brain cells have taken over and everything that passes through your ears gets so twisted by the time it reaches the little bastard that has taken over your brain that is has been turned into something completely different...something that causes the demon cells to flip that switch from civil to evil? Well it has happened to me maybe three times in my life; this long awaited night was one of them.
I brought one of my absolute favorite wines, a 1993 Hubert de Montille Pommard Rugiens a wine full of grace and regality….a wine so lovely and pure, a wine that was everything that I was NOT that evening and a wine whose delicate nature was obliterated, destroyed and eventually lost beneath the bile and ugliness of the situation. I was horrified by my behavior, my momentary loss of my sanity and civility…still am actually and to this day I cannot tell you what inspired or triggered my lunacy, not sure it matters really…it happened and there is nothing I can do to change that.
I have since been forgiven for being a nutbag that evening, matter of fact it seems that I was the one most hurt and the most devastated by the way that night unfolded, the way I unfolded and I am doing my best to just chalk it up to a, “Well everyone loses it once in awhile” thing. I’m working on it but little flashes of my snarling, snapping and frankly being a wicked bitch still flash on me along with pictures of my beloved wine being basically chugged down, used for its numbing abilities….trying to act as anti venom to the fierce flick of my tongue. We might as well have been drinking Rodney Strong Cabernet for all the attention we were paying….ugh.
My wine sacrificed to a situation… Like I have said a million times, wine is about more than what is in the bottle and even a remarkably beautiful wine, a high scoring wine, a much coveted bottle of wine cannot compete, make or save every situation. Poor little Pommard….