Tuesday, September 13, 2016
You can't just buy "beer" (or "wine") for your friends anymore
My friend, not a beer drinker, bought a 6-pack of Heineken. He thought this was courteous.
But Dick wouldn't drink the Heineken. Instead, he gave my friend a lecture: how Heineken is a mass-produced international conglomerate product and shouldn't be supported, and how there are so many interesting locally made craft brews to choose from.
You may be thinking, "Blake Gray is Dick." Wouldn't be the first time. But no, I'm not a beer drinker. However, I totally understand Dick's position, and I have done nearly the same thing when offered uninteresting corporate wine in people's homes. I try to avoid being pedantic, the word my friend used to describe Dick.
To the non-oenophile, though, our love of wine is pretty much the same as pedantry. Same thing for beer enthusiasts.
I have a lot of experience being a snob, and I believe I have gotten reasonably good at, to quote my favorite line from the TV show "Justified," "putting the anus on myself." (It really is a better word than "onus" in this usage.) And I am content to drink water in situations where others have alcohol. But it's still not comfortable for either party, especially if somebody went out and bought something for me that they wouldn't ordinarily consume.
For my friend, what a nightmare! He said, "Dick was a guest in my home. He could have said thank you." Plus now he's stuck with a 6-pack of corporate horse piss. Wine and beer lovers, we're so damn picky. What if my friend goes out and buys a very highly rated wine that the store recommends as a crowd pleaser to serve to somebody like me?
Because my audience is wine lovers, there's not much point in me telling non-oenophile readers how to buy wine for wine snobs, but I will anyway: find the snobbiest wine shop in your town -- not Safeway or Trader Joe's, sorry -- and go tell the most judgmental hipster clerk that some really stuck-up wine snob is coming to your house and you want something he can't bitch about. Or, even better, tell your guests it's BYOB.
But for the oenophile guest, this is going to happen to me again, possibly in the very near future, so I'll take your advice. How do you react when somebody buys a dinner-party wine that you don't want to drink?
Posted by W. Blake Gray at 6:00 AM