Vol. 12, No. 3,009 - The American Reporter - October 19, 2006

Make My Day

by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
Syracuse, Indiana

Printable version of this story

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As a recognized Guy wine expert ("Hey look! It's a Guy wine expert") I'm often asked by other Guys about the proper way to select a wine without looking like a complete nerd.

Most Guys are used to drinking beer straight from the bottle as they watch football in their underwear, so selecting a wine can be an intimidating process. Especially if they can't take off their pants. This can be a problem when you're at a dinner with your fiancee and her parents, and you're asked to select the wine.

So, I tell Guys to remember three simple rules:

1. Good wines have corks, not screw caps.

2. Good wines do not have the words "Thunder," "Mad," or "Blaster" in the name.

3. Good wines do not have commercials about men creating sand statues of naked men so their selfish wives will give them some unnaturally-colored wine.

With all this in mind, look carefully at the wine list. There are two types of wine you need to think about: Red and White. But hopefully the wine list isn't just a piece of paper with the words "red" and "white" scribbled on it.

There are wines from nearly every country in the world (who knew Russia had a wine region?). But save yourself a big headache. Since we're in the United States, let's pick a nice California wine. And while the old rule of "Red wine goes with red meat, white wine goes with everything else" is still a good one, it's not the hard and fast rule that it used to be 20 years ago. Nowadays, you can order whatever you like.

However, red meat and red wine make a good combination. And since everyone is having the steak tonight (who would have thought your future mother-in-law could eat an entire 72 ounce Porterhouse?), stick with the red. My favorite is the Merlot, so let's get that.

No! I don't care if you want a Burgundy, this is my column. We're getting the Merlot!

After your wine arrives, the sommelier (that's French for "The Wine Guy") will remove the cork and hand it to you.

This is not a souvenir, so don't stick it in your pocket. Look at it. Is it firm and moist (at least as moist as cork can be) or is it dry, brittle, and crumbly? If it's dry and crumbly, the wine will taste bad, so send it back.

Now smell the cork. Does it smell good? Does it smell bad? Does it smell like your feet? If it smells like your feet, send the wine back.

The Sommelier then pours a little wine into your glass. Do not ask "Is that all?" Pick up your glass by the stem, and swirl it around a little. Don't worry about trying to make thoughtful faces or careful examinations of the wine. Unless there's a severed finger in it, you won't see anything special.

Next, smell the wine. Stick your nose in the glass. No, I mean all the way in there. Sniff deeply. Take your nose out, swirl it again (the glass, not your nose). Stick your nose in again, and sniff deeply.

Picture the images and memories that are conjured up by the smell of the wine. Just don't say them out loud. You don't want to regale your future in-laws with the story about the time you and their daughter -- the light of their lives -- got drunk at a friend's party and, well you know ...

Taste the wine. Take just a small sip, and very delicately swish it around in your mouth. It's not mouthwash, and you're not trying to get rid of a bad cigar aftertaste, so be discreet. You just want to coat your tongue with the wine, so you can get the full flavor.

At this point, most people will start making grand speeches about the bouquet, body, and finish of the wine, and how the wine "has a pretentious overtone, but is not overbearing in its bouquet." But you're a Guy. Guy's don't talk like that. So instead, nod silently to the Sommelier, and he'll pour the wine for everyone at the table.

You have now successfully ordered a bottle of wine. You didn't embarrass yourself, and you impressed your future in-laws mightily. You should be proud of yourself and happy with your achievement.

Just don't challenge your girlfriend's mother to a belching contest, and the evening will be a total success.

Erik is out of the office, so we are reprinting an old column that we happened to have lying around.

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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