Most of us have a bottle of wine tucked away in a cabinet somewhere, “just in case.” While emergency wine is a good idea in case an earthquake or the need to play presidential debate drinking games suddenly sneaks up on you, let’s be sure to squirrel away some cheap stuff for that.
The problem arises when you save a good bottle, like Las Positas Vineyards’ 2013 Nebbiolo or any Nth Degree release from Wente, on the off-chance company drops by. I get it. Invited or not, you don’t want an important someone to sip from a bottle that has a bearded chicken smoking a corncob pipe on the label. But for every reason you have to hide away the good stuff, there are as many arguments to enjoy it for yourself. Here are a few.
1) Life is short, and it’s definitely too short to drink anything that tastes like bathtub cleanser. Drinking bad wine is like eating stale cake – it sends a message to your body that you hate it. No wonder you can’t lose those last five pounds. It’s payback!
2) Don’t assume you’ll only be surprised by company you want to see. Remember that time your second cousins showed up with an RV and a story about how they’d traveled 2,000 miles to see you? And never once did they pick up the phone to warn you so you could hide until they stopped ringing the doorbell? Yeah. You do not want to give those cousins your good wine. Or an electrical outlet.
3) What if the company that drops by is the guys who break into your house, steal your valuables and grab the booze as they’re heading out the door with your grandmother’s emerald necklace in their pocket? No good wine for them!
4) Occasionally neighbors drop by. Some neighbors are perfectly nice, and then there are the neighbors who pick their teeth, put their muddy shoes on your coffee table and decide to stick around a while when you’re desperate to eat dinner. Do not encourage them with good wine or you’ll never get rid of them.
5) Sometimes a co-worker offers to drive you home after your car won’t start in the company garage. Sometimes that co-worker is the Debbie Downer who can’t stop talking about her recent breakup, how lousy she looks in a pencil skirt, the lumpy thing that has appeared on her right forearm and the fact she’s doomed to die alone and be eaten by her cat. If you give her the good wine, she’ll question why you like her so much.
6) Maybe the company that comes over is a snotty frenemy who thinks she knows wine but hasn’t discovered Livermore Valley wines yet. You know if you break out a bottle of something good she’ll rush out, get a bottle for the next party she goes to and never give you credit for your good taste or your discovery. Forget that. Give her a beer.
7) The best reason to never save the good wine for company? Because it’s good wine, and you know it. Who better to appreciate it? Get drinking.
By Liane Bonin Starr