Rob Moshein - Austin Wine Guy
Tis the Season
September 02, 2007I have a personal rule. I don't discuss Thanksgiving or Christmas before Halloween. Growing up, you never saw Christmas decorations or Christmas merchandise displays before November 1. Imagine my headache, non sulfite induced, when I walked into a grocery store on my birthday, Oct. 24, and saw Christams stuff for sale.
So, now that the last Halloween candy leftovers are gone, and fall is truly in the air, it is a good time to talk about wine and the Holidays. A lot of average folks stress out over wine this time of year, as many don't purchase much wine the rest of the year ( a personal failing, in my humble opinion, but I'll blog that one another time.).
Da Rulz for Holiday wine buying.
Rule one: buy what you like to drink. Two good reasons for this, one is that at least you know for sure somebody in the room will like it ie: you; two, if you have wine left over, it won't sit there and moulder in a cupboard (hmmm, yet another future blog topic....)
Rule two: never cast pearls before swine. Look, just because you might want to impress guests at your party is not really a good reason to buy an expensive, complex, highly rated wine if your guests don't give a rodent's patootie about wine. If they can't tell the difference between red and white zinfandel, or think "it all tastes the same pass me another Bud lite will ya?" then you might as well be pouring a great bottle of wine into the sewer. Think about who your guests are and buy accordingly. If they're a bunch of sophisticated cork heads, by all means impress them. If they're the budweiser white zin crowd, go for quantity over quality.
Rule three: buy the gift of wine they might not buy for themselves. Slightly at odds with rule two is the gift of a bottle or three of wine. I think this is a great chance to help expand your friends' wine world and maybe drink outside the box. Trot down to your favorite wine purveyor and describe what you know your friend likes as best you can. THEN, ask them to suggest something different. Not a lot different, but outside the box different. If you know they like California Merlot, ask for Merlot from somewhere else. If they only drink California Cabernet Sauvignon, ask the wine guy to suggest something similar but different. Life's too short to drink the same wine, so giving the gift of wine is a great way to gently expand the giftee's horizons. Plus, if they really like it, you're a double hero.
Rule four: DON'T STRESS OVER THE WINE. After fifteen years in the wine trade, I can comfortably say, there is no such thing as a wine emergency. Head over to the local wine emporium and don't be shy to ask for help. I promise you that they can solve your wine dilemma quickly and easily. If they can't, find another place because the good wine store will always be able to.