Amusing wine experiences.

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Mark Golodetz
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Amusing wine experiences.

#1 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 5th, 2020, 5:20 pm

Well we have done the profound ones, I think it is time to laugh at some of our experiences.

I have told this story before, but it still makes me smile.

My first Thanksgiving in the US, and I was in graduate school in Phoenix. I started dating an English professor at ASU, and was invited to her home for dinner.

I arrived at the house clutching a bottle of Mouton Cadet (I was a real sophisticate in those days) and rang the door bell. The door was Gothic, wide at the bottom and tapering off at the top. The woman who answered the ring, my girlfriend’s mother, was tiny but filled most of the bottom half of the door.

I gave her the bottle which was immediately grabbed by my girlfriend’s sister. She uncorked it, held it to her lips, drank half, and gave a little ladylike burp, and finished the rest of the bottle. She slowly fell onto the couch in a heap and did not stir for the rest of the evening.

It was the beginning of a truly horrendous evening, with her other siblings fighting, the mother shrieking and an undercooked turkey.
We broke up almost immediately afterwards,
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Dan Kravitz
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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#2 Post by Dan Kravitz » April 5th, 2020, 6:26 pm

Mark,

Great story, but puzzling, because this sounds like an ideal family with which to be associated on a permanent basis.

Here's one, but it wasn't really that amusing for me at the end:
The late, great, sainted Mike Downey was #2 at Mayflower Liquors in D.C. He famously drove Checker Cabs, which famously never ran. One day he was invited to do a valuation of an old, untouched cellar on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The cellar was in a sub-basement, it wasn't huge, but it was old and impeccable. After giving the owner a valuation, the owner handed him a bottle from the cellar for his trouble: 1899 Chateau Margaux.
Mike's Checker wouldn't start (of course), so the owner took him to the bus station. Mike got on the bus, had a corkscrew but not a cup, so pulled the cork (which came out clean and easy) and started drinking from the bottle. The bus stopped in Annapolis. Mike got out, went to a pay phone, called me and asked me to pick him up at the station and drive him home, in return for which I would get some of the wine. But by the time I got there, the bottle was almost empty and what was left tasted like old wine with a lot of dregs. Still, well 'vaut le detour'.

On my next sales call, Mike gifted me something spectacular from Bordeaux, but I don't remember it <sigh>.

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#3 Post by Karl K » April 5th, 2020, 7:16 pm

Good stories!
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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#4 Post by Victor Hong » April 5th, 2020, 7:27 pm

In 1997, before the Bordeaux market really took off to the moon, I wandered into Acker Merrall Condit, and spotted two half bottles of Cheval Blanc 1949, for $50 each. The sales manager, Chris Wilford, told me that they just found them in a odd corner of the basement. I bought them. Later, Chris told me that he could not believe that he did not buy them himself, and had wanted to kill me on the spot.

By the way, both bottles were real........and great.
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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#5 Post by alan weinberg » April 5th, 2020, 8:14 pm

when I first got into wine, I learned that wine needed to aerate. I had bought—for me—an expensive bottle at the time, maybe $40, and was excited to drink it with my wife. I called her before I came home, asked her to open the bottle, and pour out a glass, that we’d drink it for dinner. I got home, saw the open bottle with about 6-8 ounces missing. I couldn’t believe my wife had started to drink without me. I asked her where the rest of the bottle was. She looked at me like I was stupid and said, “you told me to pour out a glass. I did.” That’s the last time she ever did what I asked.

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#6 Post by alan weinberg » April 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm

But wait, there’s more. We were in an Italian restaurant a few years after this wine passion started. I spent 20 minutes reading the wine list and noticed the wife beginning to get a bit irritated with me. The somm came over, a nice young guy, and we started talking . . . and talking . . . and talking. Finally he left and I turned to my wife who, by now, was just shaking her head. I said, “I think I’ll get the Gaja Barbaresco.” My wife, who knew less than I about wine, said, “why, you just met him?”

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#7 Post by Anton D » April 5th, 2020, 8:23 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm
But wait, there’s more. We were in an Italian restaurant a few years after this wine passion started. I spent 20 minutes reading the wine list and noticed the wife beginning to get a bit irritated with me. The somm came over, a nice young guy, and we started talking . . . and talking . . . and talking. Finally he left and I turned to my wife who, by now, was just shaking her head. I said, “I think I’ll get the Gaja Barbaresco.” My wife, who knew less than I about wine, said, “why, you just met him?”
[rofl.gif] [rofl.gif]
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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#8 Post by Glen Gold » April 5th, 2020, 8:24 pm

I have a French friend who spent a while trying to tempt me into wine. About ten years ago, I had a party and he said he would bring some wines to get me -- and whoever else was interested -- started in this weird hobby. He brought three wines and three decanters. He poured three mid-'90s William Selyem Pinots for us. That is when my best friend Owen appeared. Owen, who is a gem, is also a Budweiser guy. He poured himself a 12-ounce jelly jar full to the brim from Decanter #1. And then he drank it. Like: not in one sip, but over the course of maybe five minutes, all the while exclaiming about how amazing it was. He was so happy! Then he left.

My French friend was kind of apoplectic, but there at least some left from Decanter #1, so I had a small glass, and it was great, and then Owen came back and filled up a second 12-ounce glass from Decanter #2. All the while, making eye contact with my other friend, and then, sipping at his second glass, he was effusive: this one was EVEN BETTER! He thanked my friend over and over for being so generous as he drained glass #2.

Did it happen again with Decanter #3? Of course it did. And it was glorious. Owen, sloshed, was enthusiastic and over the moon with how good the wine had been. My other friend was both amazed and fuming and also kind of tickled because Owen really really did like the wine. It's just that there wasn't much left for anyone else.

Flash forward to 2020: Owen doesn't drink Bud anymore but he loves Beycheville.

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#9 Post by Glen Gold » April 5th, 2020, 8:25 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 8:14 pm
when I first got into wine, I learned that wine needed to aerate. I had bought—for me—an expensive bottle at the time, maybe $40, and was excited to drink it with my wife. I called her before I came home, asked her to open the bottle, and pour out a glass, that we’d drink it for dinner. I got home, saw the open bottle with about 6-8 ounces missing. I couldn’t believe my wife had started to drink without me. I asked her where the rest of the bottle was. She looked at me like I was stupid and said, “you told me to pour out a glass. I did.” That’s the last time she ever did what I asked.
This is a very good story.
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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#10 Post by alan weinberg » April 5th, 2020, 8:26 pm

My last one—probably the best-when my daughter was 2 and could barely talk, I taught her to say “Corton Charlemagne.” Didn’t matter what it was—Corton Charlemagne. She would often accompany me to the wine store. One day, as we walked the Burgundy aisle, I noticed this other guy an aisle over with his kid of a similar age. Obviously trying to impress me, he held up a bottle of wine and loudly asked his child what it was. She said, “wine,” and he grinned at me. I grabbed a nearby bottle of Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne and asked my girl what it was. The words “Corton Charlemagne” were still echoing as he walked head down out of the store holding his daughter’s hand.

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#11 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » April 5th, 2020, 8:49 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm
But wait, there’s more. We were in an Italian restaurant a few years after this wine passion started. I spent 20 minutes reading the wine list and noticed the wife beginning to get a bit irritated with me. The somm came over, a nice young guy, and we started talking . . . and talking . . . and talking. Finally he left and I turned to my wife who, by now, was just shaking her head. I said, “I think I’ll get the Gaja Barbaresco.” My wife, who knew less than I about wine, said, “why, you just met him?”
[rofl.gif]

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#12 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 6th, 2020, 2:18 am

champagne.gif
alan weinberg wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm
But wait, there’s more. We were in an Italian restaurant a few years after this wine passion started. I spent 20 minutes reading the wine list and noticed the wife beginning to get a bit irritated with me. The somm came over, a nice young guy, and we started talking . . . and talking . . . and talking. Finally he left and I turned to my wife who, by now, was just shaking her head. I said, “I think I’ll get the Gaja Barbaresco.” My wife, who knew less than I about wine, said, “why, you just met him?”
champagne.gif This was so funny I sent it to friends who are not on the Berserker board.
Last edited by Mark Golodetz on April 6th, 2020, 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#13 Post by Joshua Kates » April 6th, 2020, 4:33 am

alan weinberg wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm
But wait, there’s more. We were in an Italian restaurant a few years after this wine passion started. I spent 20 minutes reading the wine list and noticed the wife beginning to get a bit irritated with me. The somm came over, a nice young guy, and we started talking . . . and talking . . . and talking. Finally he left and I turned to my wife who, by now, was just shaking her head. I said, “I think I’ll get the Gaja Barbaresco.” My wife, who knew less than I about wine, said, “why, you just met him?”
"Say goodnight, Gracie"
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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#14 Post by Bud Insalata » April 6th, 2020, 3:47 pm

In 1980 a few couples attended a restaurant wine tasting 'class'. The instructor was going around pouring many samples, a different bottle in each hand. Half way through, my friend’s wife must have been bored and asked him if he had the time. Without hesitation, he turned his bottle holding left hand to check his watch and managed to pour a third of it onto the table in front of us. She couldn’t help but scream out a laugh.

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#15 Post by maureen nelson » April 6th, 2020, 4:43 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm
But wait, there’s more. We were in an Italian restaurant a few years after this wine passion started. I spent 20 minutes reading the wine list and noticed the wife beginning to get a bit irritated with me. The somm came over, a nice young guy, and we started talking . . . and talking . . . and talking. Finally he left and I turned to my wife who, by now, was just shaking her head. I said, “I think I’ll get the Gaja Barbaresco.” My wife, who knew less than I about wine, said, “why, you just met him?”
That made me laugh out loud!

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#16 Post by Bdklein » April 6th, 2020, 5:16 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 5:20 pm
Well we have done the profound ones, I think it is time to laugh at some of our experiences.

I have told this story before, but it still makes me smile.

My first Thanksgiving in the US, and I was in graduate school in Phoenix. I started dating an English professor at ASU, and was invited to her home for dinner.

I arrived at the house clutching a bottle of Mouton Cadet (I was a real sophisticate in those days) and rang the door bell. The door was Gothic, wide at the bottom and tapering off at the top. The woman who answered the ring, my girlfriend’s mother, was tiny but filled most of the bottom half of the door.

I gave her the bottle which was immediately grabbed by my girlfriend’s sister. She uncorked it, held it to her lips, drank half, and gave a little ladylike burp, and finished the rest of the bottle. She slowly fell onto the couch in a heap and did not stir for the rest of the evening.

It was the beginning of a truly horrendous evening, with her other siblings fighting, the mother shrieking and an undercooked turkey.
We broke up almost immediately afterwards,
The hell with the wine. The best of the story is dating your professor !!
Bruce Klein

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#17 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 6th, 2020, 5:32 pm

Bdklein wrote:
April 6th, 2020, 5:16 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote:
April 5th, 2020, 5:20 pm
Well we have done the profound ones, I think it is time to laugh at some of our experiences.

I have told this story before, but it still makes me smile.

My first Thanksgiving in the US, and I was in graduate school in Phoenix. I started dating an English professor at ASU, and was invited to her home for dinner.

I arrived at the house clutching a bottle of Mouton Cadet (I was a real sophisticate in those days) and rang the door bell. The door was Gothic, wide at the bottom and tapering off at the top. The woman who answered the ring, my girlfriend’s mother, was tiny but filled most of the bottom half of the door.

I gave her the bottle which was immediately grabbed by my girlfriend’s sister. She uncorked it, held it to her lips, drank half, and gave a little ladylike burp, and finished the rest of the bottle. She slowly fell onto the couch in a heap and did not stir for the rest of the evening.

It was the beginning of a truly horrendous evening, with her other siblings fighting, the mother shrieking and an undercooked turkey.
We broke up almost immediately afterwards,
The hell with the wine. The best of the story is dating your professor !!
Bruce,
I am sorry, I cannot be part of your fantasy world. I was at a graduate business school known affectionately as Thunderbird, she was an English professor at Arizona State specializing in Elizabethan theater I think with a thing about John Webster.
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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#18 Post by Bob Davis » April 7th, 2020, 12:58 pm

Did I read the plot of “Accidental Tourist” here somewhere?

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#19 Post by J a y H a c k » April 7th, 2020, 1:33 pm

I've posted this a few times over the years, so I just copied it from my 2015 post:

We were tailgating and there were these guys who were always in the row next to us who had a crush facility on Staten Island. One day I walked over while my Jambalaya was cooking and I saw this bottle on their table, from ten yards away I recognized the label as La Mission. I walked closer and it was a 1982. I went over to a guy I had met before and asked if I could have a little taste. He grabbed a red cup and I said NO! And went back to my car and got a Spiegelau ( one of the ones from Victor's famous glass hunter post ten years ago) and I poured myself about an ounce. A guy comes over and says in an accusatory tone "what are you doing?" I explained that I had asked the other guy and he said I could have a taste. The guy said, "that's not a taste," takes the glass out of my hand and pours me about ten ounces. The guy I know then comes up to me and says that since I seem to know about wine, could I tell him if a bottle was any good. He hands me a brown paper bag with a bottle in it. I start to remove the bottle and I get about a half of the label exposed and say "holy shit, do you know what you have here?" It was the distinctive gold bar with the notches at the corner.

Yquem.

I pulled it out and it was a 1983. I told him it was the holy grail of. French dessert wine He said his friend who had given me the ten ounce pour had given it to him as a gift. I told him that if it had not been a gift, I would have offered him $200 for it. I said $200 only because i knew that was exactly how much cash i had in my pocket. I then went back to my Jambalaya to add the shrimp. Five minutes later, the two guys come over to me and the pourer says "would you really give him $200 for that bottle?" I said yes, so he turns to his friend and says, "give it to him, I've got another one and I'll give it to you when we get home." I put it in a cooler with Flannery ice packs and drank it a few years later a a Leo's blind dinner from my 60th birthday.
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

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Re: Amusing wine experiences.

#20 Post by Patrick Duffy » April 7th, 2020, 2:25 pm

So this was in 1975. I was a second year student at a well known eastern business school. My wife and I had agreed to mentor some first year students from foreign countries, so we were invited to the big party (we're talking over 1,000 people) at the end of the first week for first years and their spouses. My classmate Jim is there also. The three of us were talking with the wife of a first year. It seems that her husband had spent some time in Germany when he was in the US Army. She had become one of those people who think that everything European is so far superior to anything American that there is simply no comparison. I just knew how my friend Jim was going to react to that. Then she found out that Jim has worked during the summer in Switzerland, "selling aluminum smelters to unsuspecting third world countries." So she assumed that he was a fellow Europhile. This led to her asking, "Have you found any good American wines? Every time we try one, we're...….disappointed." Jim replied, "Yes." Pause. "Well, what are they?" "I'd rather not say." She spent the next five minutes begging Jim to tell her about these good American wines, until Jim finally told her "Well, Gallo's got some good ones in the half gallon sizes." It was another couple minutes before she realized that she'd been had by the greatest deadpan comedian I have ever met.

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