Friday, February 1, 2008

Merlot and Cheese Fries

In Cincinnati there is a society for wine lovers/drinkers. I am not a member but because I have cool friends I get invited to their wine tastings. It seems to be mostly young attractive professional type people and everyone is friendly. (And not just because we taste massive amounts of wine-and of course taste= large drinks). I've now been to two and in concept they are great. Get together with friends to form a team of 3. Buy three bottles of any brand of the varietal (1st one was Cabernet and last night was Merlot). Two bottles are wrapped in brown paper and numbered for tasting. Everyone tastes the wine and then votes for favorite and least favorite by number. The team that brings the "Most Favorite" takes all the bottles home. "Least Favorite" takes their wine back. The events always benefit a charity so really I'm doing good, not using it as excuse to booze it up on a Thursday. Last night there were between 200 and 300 bottles of wine to taste so you would think I would be happy.

I love working in catering but planning and attending all types of events and actually having a college degree for it makes me a nit-picky jerk at any event I go to. (Don't you want to invite me to you party/wedding/bris/etc now?) I can control it when the event is thrown by friends, family or someone else I like. But last night made me want to kill. This group has these wine tastings every couple months so why oh why were there so many obvious problems?? Celia (you ask) why can't you enjoy your unlimited wine and stop being so critical? Good questions internet, I just don't know. Here are a few of the problems I encountered last night:
--It was in a mall food court-they try to hold them downtown which I like but really? a mall? with florescent lights and terrible accoustics?
--There was no coat check-it has been freezing here so every person had a coat. Since you're trying to raise money just charge $1 and they would have made a mint. Instead people had to stuff their big heavy coats around the mall food court.
--The directional "signs" were 81/2 x 11 pieces of copy paper written in green marker. Did no one go check out the facility and realize some signs may be needed by the elevators before that night?
--There were no containers for pouring unwanted wine out. You get a plastic cup and are supposed to taste lots of wine. If you get crap you are forced to drink it instead of being able to pour it out. People started using left over plastic cups which immediately filled up and spilled red wine everywhere.
--The only food was little brownie bites. I am never against eating chocolate but when I'm tasting 30-40 different types of wine I need a little cracker or something to clean my palate. (Don't I sound snobby-well I am) Also, Merlot is almost always better with food and some of the wines I hated were probably very good with cheese. Plus lots of drinking and no food is always a bad idea. And we were in a FOOD COURT. Could none of those places stay open later or donate 1 or 2 trays of sesame chicken, cheese, chips, anything?
--The voting sheets are too large and awkward when trying to manuver around 200 people with a coat, purse and cup of wine. Just an index card would work as well or not better.
--I already mentioned it but the lighting was wretched and the noise level was so bad that you had a yell at the people you were networking with. Not classy.

These little things always being a problem seems like just laziness and poor planning on their part which are two things I cannot stand.

All that being said I did have a great time with my friends, saw people I hadn't seen in a while and met a lot of interesting people. Although I realized I don't love Merlot I will probably go to the next tasting. But as God as my witness if there are florescent lights I will have to throw a fit.

**The cheese fries mentioned in the title are what my friend and I had for dinner before the wine tasting because we are Klassy with a capital "K".

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