One Awkward Bottle of Wine

Like all sophisticated people I enjoy a fine wine. And like most sophisticated people, I have no idea what "fine wine" means. This creates all sorts of horrors when out at a dining establishment trying to get my classy drink on. It turns out that the act of ordering a bottle of wine at a restaurant is one of life's most uncomfortable rituals. You know how it goes. You order the 2nd cheapest bottle of wine on the menu so as not to look like a cheap skate, but still not break the bank (a friend recently told me that they actually price up the lower quality wines because they're onto our tricks, but I'm standing by this plan).

The waiter brings over the bottle of wine and stands there and presents it to you, like a freshly slaughtered duck. What's the appropriate response? "neat label!" or "yes, fine sir, that looks divine" or "word UP, crack that bitch open!" I just never know. Then he hangs around the table, opening the wine (which, as someone formerly in food service, I know is just as painful as them) and you and your dining partners just kind of sit there. Do you continue your conversation? Even if it involves the phrase "I'm pretty sure I was at least topless?" Do you pretend to be talking about something intellectual, like the Iran Contra Agreement? Seriously, someone please tell me.

Then, and this is worst of all, it's time to get interactive. Last night at dinner the waiter uncorked the vino and handed me the cork. Just stuck it right down in front of me. I, of course, put it to my face and smelled it. Turns out that was the wrong choice. You're just supposed to touch it, rub all up on it, and make sure it is nice and moist (future AwkWORD of the Day!) Apparently wine is fine with a nice moist cork.

Then the waiter pours you a small sample of wine and you swish it all around in your glass and smell it and drop some strangely pervy sounding vocab terms like "full bodied" and "nice legs" and anything else you can remember them doing  in Sideways and then, after you give an authoritative nod of approval, they finally fill er up.

And then you can drink that bottle of wine reallllly fast, and by the time they open the second, third and fourth bottles of the evening, you're prepared to handle the situation like a truly sophisticated boozehound.