Some People Just Need to Complain

I was invited to pour wine for the Hoity-Toity Charity Wine Dinner, a fundraiser for some charitable organization that allowed people who could afford $10K a plate dinners to gather among their own kind.  It was an honor, in the sense that only the top sommeliers in the area were invited to pour.


The dinner was held at a grand estate in the suburbs – the tennis courts were converted to a dining area for a few hundred people.  A team of wine professionals gathered several hours before the event to conduct the massive operation of double decanting almost two dozen cases of ten different wines.  Exquisite bottlings from some of the worlds most highly regarded wineries were inspected, tasted, poured into the decanter, left to aerate for a precise amount of time, and decanted back into the bottles*.  From opening the first bottle to pouring the last drops, nine hours had ticked away.  It was an exhausting evening made much more glamorous by all of the sublime wines we consumed ourselves.


The extremely wealthy, extremely entitled men seemingly all arrived with the standard issue perfectly coiffed women – cookie cutter images of the idle rich.  Their faces, stretched farther than their imaginations have traveled in years, each seemed a caricature of herself.


By the time I was pouring the 7th wine of the evening, 1996 Bryant Family Cabernet, I had developed a rapport with the tables in my section – that is they stopped treating me as a servant and regarded me as a highly educated wine professional and began asking questions.  When I served this spectacular wine to the last table, Alice, the apparent Alpha Female of the group, after tasting declared the wine “tight*”. 


“Madame, I assure you that this bottle, as every other, has been double decanted and tasted by at least two sommeliers and we think it is showing beautifully.”


“This is tight” she insisted.


“I personally tasted this bottle before offering it to your table and I think it is pristine.”


“Well taste this glass” she demanded shoving it in my face.


Another chance to sample a 100pt, $1,000 bottle of wine – sure.  I swirled, tasted and spent a few moments pretending to contemplate the question before ignoring the easy way out.  “Ma’am, I must disagree with you on this point.  This wine is drinking optimally.”


The lady who doth protest too much was interrupted by her husband as she was about to launch into another.


“Alice, the only thing tight at this table is you.  Shut-up and drink it.”




*anyone who might be curious about wines that should be decanted, the process of double decanting, or a further explanation of wine that is “tight” feel free to send me an email for further explanation.  I can be reached at restaurantrefugee at gmail dot com.


7 Responses to Some People Just Need to Complain

  1. Lemmonex says:

    I was invited to pour wine for the Hoity-Toity Charity Wine Dinner, a fundraiser for some charitable organization that allowed people who could afford $10K a plate dinners to gather among their own kind.

    These people are obnoxious, but at least they are giving their money to charity. Maybe?! I don’t know…feeling charitable myself today.

    Yes, at least, they were donating to charity; and no, they were not awful humans. Condescending, entitled, and dismissive, but not awful.

  2. freckledk says:

    I would stand out at such events like a sore thumb. I don’t imagine they were serving Miller Lite and pile-high nachos.

  3. at “those” parties… the good time is in the kitchen…
    and @ freckles…so are the nachos…..

  4. Jillian says:

    You should have replaced her wine with grape juice. I bet she wouldn’t have noticed.

  5. Tina says:

    my opinions on wine are limited to – I like this – I do not like this. And I don’t really care for anyone else’s opinion on them – as I am the one drinking it.

  6. liz says:

    “Their faces, stretched farther than their imaginations have traveled in years” – ha, ha – hilarious! I’m intrigued by the fact that many wealthy, entitled people do not have an innate sense of quality . . . they might learn the buzz words, but they have no natural ability to discern what is or isn’t good. That’s what price tags are for!

  7. Angela says:

    “those” people at “those” parties can’t be any worse than those living in my cul de sac with their racist, homophobic, right wing, drilling for oil in our natural reserves, judgmental about my clients, bullshit comments and conversations .. ugh. And if i end up having to send my son to private school afterall, maybe i’d SHOULD just be joining you and my dear friends in DC…..

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