Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vini, Vidi, Vici

A couple of weeks ago, when I was recovering from one of my many winter illnesses, Scott went out with my credit card, as it happens, to buy me some wine. (Note: Yes I was sick, but I decided that I'd take a little booze over Advil - especially since the Advil was doing fuck all.) Anyway, he came back from the store with a few bottles, some of which I recognized, and one which was all new.

Something told me to look carefully at the new label. I don't know if I had a psychic moment (if yes, I should really try and work those for significant things) or if I am just drawn to what's novel, but I was intrigued enough to check the bill. Note: I never check the bill. At any rate, I was vaguely horrified to discover S had spent $53.00 on the bottle - a 2004 Brunello. I mean, I don't even drink Sangioveses??!

An argument ensued, if you're interested. My position: It behooves the wine purchaser to pay a modicum of attention to the Visa slip, especially when said slip does not belong to him. Scott's position: The person who quibbles when someone goes out to buy her some wine is a whiny bitch, regardless of how excessive the cost.

There wasn't much middle ground.

As the week went on I deliberated returning it. The weather was awful. The receipt went missing. Come the next weekend, it was still sitting in the wine rack. I began to consider the possibility that I might keep it.

How I debated this crazy bottle of wine! I'm the kind of (gourmand spendy) woman who will shell out $200.00 on a meal with nary a second thought. When in NYC, I spent an absurd 30 bucks on a single glass. What was it about this bottle?? I wondered if I should save it for a special occasion and - if so - which one. I had a small anxiety attack at the thought that my housekeeper might knock it over in some kind of freak cleaning accident. (Note: The hilarious bourgeoisie that underpins this sentence does not escape me.)

What I realized, eventually, is that this wine had become a metaphor. It was the symbol of unanticipated luxury. I live well, but not excessively - except when it comes to food, and this vintage (from a temperate luxurious land, no less) kind of blew my circuits. Here I was gripped by an indulgence I had not chosen, but which I would pay for nonetheless. And so, I had to decide.

Would I return it? Or would I keep it and drink it - enjoying it on its own terms, "special occasion" be damned?

I assume you know me well enough by now.

I uncorked it on a Saturday morning and happily managed to appreciate it through its many stages of bloom.

If only, at that point, I'd owned this:

I discovered the Vinturi aerator (which costs more than $53.00, in case you're wondering) while visiting my parents. The impact is impressive. I could have enjoyed the first (whispering, thin) glass of the Brunello as much as the final one. After all, you only judge a first taste once.

Has anyone reading tried this gadget? What do you think? If no, do you use something similar perhaps?


  1. Yes, I have tried the Vinturi, and I agree it makes a noticeable difference. Though I once did a side-by-side experiment with a bunch of friends and the unanimous opinion was that it cannot, in fact, turn shitty wine into good wine. Shitty wine is still shitty, even when well aerated. I guess my point is that owning a Vinturi will not negate the need for at least an occasional bottle of 53-dollar wine. And by the way, bravo to you for enjoying it on a Saturday morning! I heartily approve.

    Also, your stories are even funnier now that I've met you in person and can hear your speaking voice in my head as I read.

  2. We've seen the Vinturi in action at wine tasting counters in Napa and Sonoma, and thought we detected the difference, but we didn't splurge on one. We're not actually big red wine drinkers. There seems to be some kind of allergic reactions. Other friends have complained about this as well. But I do enjoy a good red every now and then.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your gift.

  3. " I had a small anxiety attack at the thought that my housekeeper might knock it over in some kind of freak cleaning accident."

    This makes me giggle. I want to be you when I grow up.

  4. We have one for white wine (we don't drink much red). Last winter we tried out this place wine making place (you buy the kit, they make the wine, you go back and bottle) and we got the aerator because they let us try it out on our new wine as we were bottling it. Definitely made a difference, meaning we wouldn't have to let our wine sit around for 6 months before drinking.

  5. Audi: That makes perfect sense - bad wine is bad. No question.

    Susan: Too bad! You could get the white wine aerator...

    Gillian: I'm glad somebody wants to be me at some point :-)

    Java: It's pretty amazing that way.

  6. Kristin, I adore you. I adore you for writing sentences like: "Note: The hilarious bourgeoisie that underpins this sentence does not escape me." I adore you for drinking a $53 bottle of wine on a Saturday morning. We shall have to drink a glass or two next time I'm in TO.

  7. Just drink it and save your €53 for schweisel glassware xx

  8. R: xoxo I'm glad you found it amusing. I worried that people would think I'm ridiculous. Which, let's face it, I kind of am.

    L: I say, why limit myself. I'm just going to spend on all the booze related items :-)

  9. I bought it as a new home gift for a couple who had already acquired one..that's how I ended up owning one anyways. I'm glad I did! The vinturi definitely works and you can taste the difference! However, I don't understand the need to buy one for whites:( Might be a little gimicky.

  10. Jessica: I agree with you on the white. But hey, I haven't tried it!

  11. I agree with Audi that your posts, while always fun, are even better now that I hear your voice as I read them.

    I haven't heard of that device but it looks good. I think I'll ask for one for Mother's day, and if it arrives I will drink my wine early so as to better enjoy the day.

  12. M: xo. It is so fun to hear the blogger behind the post. And you should def ask for one for Mother's Day. It's the perfect gift for that occasion - in all ways :-)