I’m retired, so my wine is poured at 5 pm sharp. I’ll wait for you to kick off your shoes, pop open your preference and get comfortable. Don’t forget, your cork will be listening...
I come from a social family. And, by social I mean, the 29 of us get together as often as possible, in all sorts of combinations as we live in six different states. We open a bottle of cabernet (or three), place it on the table next to a bottle of Spray and Wash (what does THAT tell you about us?) and let it rip.
When we were in our twenties, we would get together and see who could bring the best bottle of $8 wine. Now, we’re up to $12 and we’re considering moving it to $14. But it’s truly not about which wine we bring to the table, it’s about what that wine brings out in each of us. We can talk about the same things every week, and the stories keep getting better, well, not necessarily better, but definitely more entertaining. So, if I tell you a family story, it’ll probably be the fourth or fifth version.
Now, my husband is not as social as my family, after all we’re Irish/Italians and he’s Scottish/English (plus, he’s a rum drinker, anyway). Don’t get me wrong, he loves a tasty Cab or Meritage with a medium-rare steak, but that’s not the same as un-corking a bottle of wine just to chat.
For my birthday one year, my girlfriend Bunny gave me a fine bottle of SIMI Cabernet (one of my faves). My hubby took it out of my hands, opened the wine fridge and politely as ever said, “This goes on one of the top shelves.”
I turned to my girlfriend with eyebrows raised and said, “I didn’t know we had 'top' or 'bottom shelf' wine.”
I took a closer look at our wine cooler. Indeed, our wine was organized in a way where our--let’s be honest here…where MY daily swill was on the middle shelves and below. The “good” wine was eye level and above. I always just reached in and grabbed a bottle. I knew there was nothing in there I wouldn’t drink.
But, as I thought about it, every time my husband decided to join me for a glass of wine, the bottle came from the “top shelf", every time he offered to pop a cork for me and the girlfriends, the wine came from the middle or below.
What, we don’t rate?
So, lesson learned. I upped all my daily swill to “top shelf" wine. Now, we’re all good.
Kyle Ann Robertson
Chief Writing Officer at Ifcorkscouldtalk.com and BBWalsh.com