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Posted November 1st, 2009 | 1 Comment
"Cher Mme Sommelier
This is so embarrassing, and I don't want to seem cheap - but what do I do about guests in my home who, well, swill because it's available, and they know I have more - with no regard for the quality of my wines?"
Gentle Vintner, Madame is frequently horrified by the boorish behaviour of others, however, I take comfort in the knowledge that my good breeding, like yours, prevents me from actually showing my horror. Impeccable manners demand instead, that we become less direct and more creative in dealing with these situations.
Of course, the first thing that you must do is to take control of this 'swilling' business, by controlling the supply of wine! Yes! That's right! You decide who drinks what, and how much, when they are guests in your home! Now, this can be a delightful experience, for there are few things in life more utterly charming or civilized than having one's host pour wine! Esoterically, guests feel pampered and cared for when their host notices their glass is empty, and leans forward to refresh it. This, of course, is something that can never happen when bottles are simply placed on tables! And, practically speaking, it is the host who decides what will be served, when it will be served, and most important, how much is just the right amount.
Yet another completely satisfying extension of this ritual, of course, is the opportunity for the host to then engage the guest in conversation about the wine! The host, through attention, is able to convey the special qualities of the wine, the loving care with which it was made, and the hope that it will be truly savoured and enjoyed.
Swilling is an activity for another species of mammal, one which occasionally appears on the dinner table, not at it. Let us all, then take the opportunity to help our guest truly understand the pleasure that can be had by sipping in civilized moderation.
Post filed under: Ask The Vintner
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