As Karen sticks her schnoz into the glass of wine you've just poured for her, you brace yourself, adjust your mask, and wait with great anxiety for the horrific combination of words that is bound to come out of her mouth like spiked wrecking ball, crushing simultaneously the noble intentions of the winegrower, winemaker, and wine steward alike.
"It's a little sharp tasting. Nope. Nothing compares to J. Lohr."
She goes "thsap thsap thsap" with her lips, you know, how people do when they taste something.
And her face screws up, because she still doesn't know that acid is an essential part of wine.
She confirms her conclusion.
Why do we even do this? Why are we going wine tasting all the damn time? What's the point if you're just gonna tap your lips together like that and poo-poo every other wine you taste?
Let's fire up one of my favourite exercises and take this kind of behaviour out of context.
Live music. Radio music. A great playlist.
You go for dinner. They've got a little guy there strummin' away on his guitar. He might not be Carlos Santana. He might not even be Bob Dylan, for chrissakes. He damn well is not John Mayer with that silky, sweet baritone and those long, strong fingers.
Was I daydreaming for a sec there?
But there's a little guy strummin' away and singing Heart of Gold.
Then he plays Big Yellow Taxi.
Paint it Black.
Let's stop right there, because nobody likes that song. But that's kind of the point. If this guy keeps playing, I'm probably going to order another bottle of wine. Why? Because I wasn't expecting live music when I showed up, and I appreciate the organic nature of such a thing. It feels good.
Just like a bottle of wine you're completely unfamiliar with should.
I know this little strummer boy does not compare to Van Morrison. But I've never heard this guy on the radio, and I'll never hear him again. I need to soak up his sounds live, on the spot, while I'm here. That's all we get. And then...POOF!
He's gone. The experience is over. Did I make the most of it?
Wines are not like records. Records are recorded in order to be immortalized.
No wine can ever be immortal. Every wine ever made is a live performance.
I know that spontaneously discovering the little strummer boy strummin' away at the Seahorse Grill™ on a Wednesday night does not compare to that time I saw Barry Gibb outdoors in San Francisco rockin' out on his last major tour ever, but I'm not in San Francisco tonight, and Barry just wasn't available.
Don't you get it?
You can walk around with a scowl all you want. You can say you-no-likey all you want.
But sometimes, you just gotta get lost in the little strummer boy's version of Takin' Care of Business and remember that your life could suck way more.
Especially if you didn't have a glass of wine in your hand.