Holidays can be prime time for vino blunders. Be your better self. This is a time for joy and bonhomie, so pass on these unwholesome wine gaffes:
• Do not pour a bottle of wine no one has ever heard of and possibly will never enjoy because your goal is demonstrate you know more about wine than everyone else.
• Restrain from bragging about how much you paid for the wine. If someone asks, tell them. But pick a wine for how it tastes, not for how much you paid for it.
• In the same vein, do not brag about how little you paid for the wine. If your ego is wrapped up in wine tomfoolery, re-evaluate your priorities.
• Shun wine shaming. If someone fancies Apothic Red or white zinfandel, let them enjoy their choice in peace. Holiday gatherings—any gatherings—should not be an opportunity for you to strive to demonstrate your palate is superior to theirs.
• Refrain from boasting about how much effort you put into the perfect pair with your holiday fare. If the pairing is spot-on, let them tell you about the pleasure you provided. Your ego will thank you for giving them the opportunity.
Perhaps you sense a theme to these wine etiquette propositions. A holiday gathering—any gathering—is not your opportunity to flaunt your superior wine wisdom. On one level, you likely will only come across as an officious oaf. On another level, you may underestimate others who will then correct your explanation about the wine, exposing you as an obnoxious popinjay. Neither seems a good way to go in this season of joy.
Holiday meals are meant to promote comity and family ties. Wine—whatever is served—should be a lubricant in that effort, not an impediment.
• Mionetto Organic Extra Dry Prosecco DOC NV: Excellent fruitiness, touch of honey and sweetness. $9-12 Link to my review
• Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017: Rich, creamy; avoids excesses of butter and oak. $17-24 Link to my review
• L’Ecole No. 41 Frenchtown Red Wine, Columbia Valley 2019: Plum delicious amalgam of, maybe, all the red grapes L’Ecole grows. $22 Link to my review
• Domaine Anderson Pinoli Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley 2018: Vibrant, bright, well-focused. Ripe fruits linger in long finish. $65 Link to my review
Last round: I was looking for the best Hollandaise sauce for a Christmas feast. A friend suggested I look in Nome, Alaska. “Why Nome,” I asked. Friend replied, “Because everyone knows that there is no place like Nome for the Hollandaise.”