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Monday, August 11, 2008

Decision, decisions...Slow Food will make them for you!

I usually make pretty fast decisions, especially if I'm hungry or desperate for my first drink of the day. Some people are more discriminating. Friday night, we had dinner at Tombo's with our friends S and M* who are about a thousand percent more knowledgeable than we are about wine (and probably a lot of other stuff, too.) M and my dear husband had just finished tearing it up on the tennis court, so they were celebrating a first round win in some tournament or another. Frankly, I don't pay attention to any of A's tournaments because I'm the meanest wife ever, only concerned about who will entertain the kids during the d*mn tournament not all that interested. My point is, we were starting dinner late - 8:30 is extremely late for parents of young children, who usually eat at 5 pm, around the time they have their first drink. And I haven't waited that late for my first drink of the day all summer**.

So we sat down. S and M couldn't decide what they wanted. Fine. I could wait for food, because I had just come from Yoga. What is it about Yoga that makes you not need food immediately afterwards? Must be something about the breathing. Anyhow, I tried to order a drink. In fact, I did order a drink, after some discussion about the fact that I am a white wine drinker while S and M prefer red. I actually ordered two drinks, a split of Sancerre. When my wine arrived, M sent it back. Yes, you read that correctly. He sent my drink back, because he and his sadistic wife had decided they did want white wine after all. He didn't need to send it back, because I could have polished off the split and still managed to consume my share of another bottle. It might not have been pretty, but I could have done it. That split would have been dry before they managed to pick a bottle, promise. But I digress.

The waitress suggested a very reasonably priced bottle of white, some Italian business. I was shaking so hard from the DT's at that point that I don't remember exactly. M (incorrectly represented in the "S and M" initial thing, because he is the sadist, for sure) wasn't sure how he felt about that wine. I was this close to saying, "Suck it up, Princess," and it's a testament to my fine upbringing that I did not. Thank you, Mom and Dad. The waitress, who looked like an even prettier Tina Fey and had the patience of a saint, offered him a taste. She brought it back and handed it to me first. Desperately, I gulped and declared it to be "GREAT!" A man of sophisticated tastes, M was not so crass. Or was he? He took the glass, in which I had left the tiniest of sips. He looked at it. He held it up to the light. He looked, he smelled, he swirled. I sobbed with my head on the table, thinking I would never, ever get a whole drink. He did that thing where you stick your whole face in the glass and inhale. I don't get it. I taste with my mouth. I felt this was far too much drama over a $30 bottle of wine which, as most of you know, would cost about $12 at the grocery store.

But I digress. Again, which is easy to do when you are desperate for just one flipping drink. I wept with relief when M gave what I think was a slightly pretentious nod. I was this close to slapping the glass from his hand and screaming, "JUST BRING US A BOTTLE OF JACK DANIELS! IT GOES WITH EVERYTHING!" The waitress left to get a full bottle from the bar. I think she felt my pain, because she was moving pretty fast. I'm going to spare you a description of how long it took those two to order actual food. Let it suffice to say the phrase "Hmmm...nothing's jumping out at me..." was bandied about. Really? I know something that's about to jump out at you, smack you in the head and order you a bucket of chicken, like it or not. I do think it's only fair to mention that S ordered a melty Brie appetizer, sensing either my imminent starvation or total drunkenness from drinking on an empty stomach. She knows me pretty well and I'm less than charming when drunk or starving, or both.

I love S and M (the couple, not the sexual practice, you pervert!), but I need a new strategy to eat with them. My friend T suggested that I should have excused myself and hit the bar for a shot of Tequila. he is a resourceful man and that was an excellent suggestion, especially if I could have grabbed a handful of peanuts to cushion it. But here's another option: Fixed Price Dinners.

Speaking of prix fixe, Slow Foods and Terra are hosting a dinner on August 21st to raise money to send Kristen and Ben Dubard, owners of local Five Leaves Farm, to
Terra Madre, a world food event in Turin, Italy. The dinner is going to be amazing, full of local goodness - and wine is included. Hear that? Included - so no decisions will be required. Yes! You can order tickets here. We already have ours and I sincerely hope S and M will join us.

Namasté, y'all!

* Wow. These are the things that you realize when you write a blog and use people's initials. "S and M"? Ha! hey don't really seem like the type, but you never know...

** Mom, just so you know, there were actually a few days this summer when I didn't drink at all. For the record.

9 comments:

Baan Sawan said...

Ha! I'm all for wine knowledge but not at the price of delayed drinking.
I do tend to tip-toe when faced with a good wine menu but I advocate, and practice religiously, getting a round of drinks as we decide what bottle to order. Splits of sparkling are good for this.

kristy said...

A. and I always indulge in a pre-dinner cocktial in order to avoid this whole situation. Especially when dining with friends which usually results in us looking like alcohol pushers. When we first started dating it was for the nerves. Then it was because he always took a while to order wine and I would get REALLY impatient. Always have a pre-dinner cocktial, even if you don't finish it this will take the edge off.

kristy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ya said...

Or y'all can do what I do and go through every day just a little bit drunk.

Shani said...

Are you sure you weren't out with my brother? He is the WORST, and has ticked off his fair share of sommeliers. When we go out with him I try to have a glass of wine before we meet him!

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atomicblonde said...

Just so you know, coming to your blog is always a highlight and never - NEVER - a disappointment. Happy to call myself your stalker...

Faith, editor of skirt! Raleigh

superflippy said...

From hanging out with winery folks, my husband learned that the 2nd cheapest wine on the menu is usually the best deal. Most people order the cheapest, so it has a high margin. Most other people select carefully from among the non-cheap wines so they won't appear cheap or unknowledgeable.

The 2nd cheapest is usually pretty good wine for the money, and if you just go ahead and pick it you get some decent wine with little fuss.

superflippy said...

You know what? I'm pretty sure I posted the wrong info earlier. I recall now that it's the 2nd cheapest wine that's the worst deal, because that's what most people order so they don't seem cheap, so that's the one with the highest margin. But now I can't remember if the cheapest or 3rd cheapest is the best deal, and I can't ask my husband because he's asleep.