I don’t care about knowing about wine. But I do care about looking like I know about wine. We all do. So we have to pretend, like our friend that went to Napa and came back like some sort of half-grape half-man wine-centaur aficionado. Listen here, Jake. You didn’t go to Napa and learn about wine, you just blacked out in a different part of the country than you normally do. Jake is the same insufferable guy that comes back from study abroad in Italy and tells you how much better gelato is than ice cream, and how the Italians enjoy life sooo much more than Americans. That’s probably why their unemployment rate is 12.4%, Jake.
Anyways, I’m getting off track. Like I said I don’t care about knowing about wine, but like Jake, I care about looking like I know about wine. That’s why I tell people I prefer cabernets, or, “cabs” as I call them. I do that to sound “wine-smart”. But I probably wouldn’t know the difference between a malbec and a merlot if my shitty blog’s life depended on it.
Side note: You don’t see people traveling the world pretending to be pork tenderloin experts. “My husband and I rented this gorgeous little bed and breakfast down the road from the North Carolina Slaughterhouses. The tour was just fabulous.” But we always see it with wine. And the ordering aspect of wine, my God… is anything lamer? The nonsense act, where you attempt to look cool swirling and twirling your glass on the table before you raise it to your lying little lips and tell your waiter, this bottle will do…
But you don’t even know what you ordered; you just know you stuck to your deceitful wine ordering system…
Imposter’s 4-Step System for Ordering Wine
You immediately grab the wine list and announce to the table that you prefer red wine and ask if anyone wants anything different. Everyone will agree with a red and you proceed to step 2.
You scroll through the wine list finding the cheapest bottle; you immediately delete it as a candidate (you don’t want to look like the poor guy at Capitol Grill). You do the same with the next cheapest bottle. You find the next 2 cheapest bottles, one is from California, the other is from Australia. You announce to the table that you’ve always preferred California wines but there’s an Australian brand you’re familiar with and that it’s delicious. You aren’t and it’s not. Nobody questions you. You ask if the Australian Triple Tailed Cockatoo Shiraz is fine with everyone. Nobody knows what the fuck it is. Everyone nods. It’s fine. You order it.
*Remember you always order the 4th cheapest bottle of red wine every time. The cheapest bottle on the menu is $48; the one you choose is $57. They both retail for $16.50 but that’s not the fucking point. The point is you have a plan, it always works and you’re sticking to it.
The bottle arrives. You inspect the bottle as if you’re hoping something’s wrong with it. You hold the bottle confidently in one hand and squint at it ostentatiously. Nothing’s wrong with it. You keep looking at it, you count to three Mississippi, you look up at the waiter, you hold your gaze – make it weird, you look back at the bottle, now back at the waiter, you glance swiftly at everyone around the table, you nod. You kindly allow the waiter to uncork the bottle and do the cool twisty pour thing they do in good places.
The wine slave pours the drink; this is your time to shine. Show everyone how to taste this Triple Tailed Cockatoo. You swirl it on the table, you twirl it in the air, you whirl it in your mouth. You put the glass down. You move your mouth like a cow; you saw this in a wine tasting YouTube video once. You smack your lips together. You act disappointed in the wine but really you know its fine. You mumble softly, “this will do.” So softly in fact, that the waiter has to ask “is this fine?” You say “yes.” This makes it appear as if you know a ton about wine and think this wine is only decent, but that you’re also a nice guy and have decided not to send it back.
This shields you! If someone doesn’t like the wine, they’ll think, “well, neither did he, but he just didn’t want to send it back.” If someone loves the wine, they’ll think “If he only thinks this is mediocre maybe I have poor taste!”
But little do they know they’ve just been had by the imposter’s 4-step system to ordering wine. Stay ignorant my friends.