14 Dec


Not the wine, no. It’s me, the writer. I’m in a conundrum. “Why,” you ask?

I have no clue what to drink.

Seriously, I have bottle after bottle staring me in the face. Four on the buffet (including a lovely gift bottle), a partial mixed case on the floor I have yet to sort or empty, much more in the “about to drink” cabinet on this floor, more caved below in the cellar.

And no clue what to open.

Don’t freak out. Freaking out isn’t pretty.

Freak Out
See? I told you,  freaking out isn’t pretty!  (OK, this is a staged picture from a show I was working on back 2010 but I think it’s hilarious nonetheless, and makes my point.)

I’ll figure out what to drink very quickly sooner or later, as soon as I decide what to eat. Then, it’s easy! Right? Well…that depends too.

No everyone knows what to drink, no matter what they are eating.

A friend (I promised to protect their identity, I’ll just call them”Snidely Whiplash.” Whoops, awfully masculine. Oh well.) Anyway, this friend admitted that they actually enjoy drinking wine with dinner, but  doesn’t know enough about wine to know what to order at a restaurant or what to bring home, so Snidely orders and buys beer instead. I took some time to explain that once you’ve enjoyed a wine, you ask what grape it is, and start with that -if you feel bold, ask the region, more bold you ask the year, and maybe you even make a note in your smartphone/pad/tablet/good old fashioned notebook, or have one of your two personal assistants start keeping track for you.

“That’s too much information,” said Snidely. “I’m more of a guy who’d ask for red or white, but whenever I just say red or white, at a restaurant, when it comes, it tastes godawful. But if someone like you orders wine and I taste it, it’s usually amazing. Like this stuff here,” as he looks into the depth of the Napa blend I’ve poured, “this stuff is pretty good.”

I explained to Snidely that the reason he likes the wines I choose is because I’ve considered what it will pair with, and made a complementary choice. Whether it’s beef, chicken, sandwiches or tofu, chinese food, BBQ, French, Malaysian or Southern Fried Cookin’, you have choices to make.

Or you can ask your friendly server, or the sommelier or wine director if you’re in that level of establishment, for their opinion. “I don’t feel comfortable asking about that,” said Snidely.

I quickly reminded him of the last time we’d been out to dine, and he inquired about a very specific side dish because he  knew what he wanted to accompany the main dish and didn’t like the other options. “You are educated in what you like and dislike,” I explained, “and you can share that with the staff, after which, being informed of your preferences and desires, allows them help make good suggestions to provide a meal you will enjoy. Or you can simply say, “What wines do you have that would go well with this dish?” when you order your entree’. Simple, right? ”  

“OK,” said Snidely, dismissing me and shoveling a fork towards his maw. “Are you done yet? Because the food is getting cold,” he says, mouth half full of cajun spiced salmon.

He snickers. “Gotcha. Pour me some of whatever you chose.”

By the way…I finally decided what to drink.

à votre santé!

2 Responses to “WHAT TO DRINK?”

  1. Susanna Boyd December 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    ha ha – love the freaking out picture! I only make that face when I’m out of wine….


    • jimvanbergen December 17, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Or if it’s not a Chardonnay? Glad you’re laughing, glad you’re reading!


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