Awkward wine lover moments

The real awkward wine lover moment happens when you’ve been on a self-catering holiday for a week … and you have to take multiple trips to the bottle bank to get rid of the remnants of your ‘catering’

We call that the wine-walk-of-shame

(… but you still take extra care to leave the best bottle carefully balanced on the top)



@Markharrison252 I like that Maitre D!

One should also leave behind an empty Wine Society box at the house pour encourager les autres


A few months ago I went on one of the not-as-frequent-as-they-should-be trips to the bottle bank. My normal crate was full so I also took some empties in an old wine carton I had knocking about.

As I was throwing them in the bank, one bottle seems a bit heavier than the rest and, as I let go, I noticed that the cork, cage and capsule were intact.

As it smashed I realised that the carton hadn’t been empty after all and I’d thrown away whole a bottle of 2002 Pol Roger.


@Jonesy… Noooooooooooooo!!!
A travesty :sleepy:

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Today’s post in the ‘wine you hate’ thread by @MrNXM reminded me about my White Zinfadel story

With lots of new members, I bet we can find a few more amusing wine anecdotes though

Tell us yours

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Whilst on holiday in the Loire, i.e. a wine tasting trip, I was discussing with my friends what we would say to a grower if we did not like the wine we were given to taste. After much discussion we decided that the bon mot would be ‘interessant’. The very next day we were offered a Sancerre rouge which had a decidedly fishy note and I blurted out to my friends that it tasted of pilchards… forgetting that the French for pilchard is … pilchard! That was an ‘interessant’ moment! Presumably some tainted isinglass had been used in fining the wine. The grower, who shall remain nameless, ‘punished’ us by insisting on a tour of his brand new bottling plant. O happy days!


Hmm … Not a very good one, this, but it’s all I can think of. I was trying to interest a fellow in a job in Spain, and he said something like “Well, the prospect of a drop of Mateus Rosé is very appealing.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him. Monty Python’s “I don’t think I’ll have any claret, but I will have some wine” sketch came to mind.

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When your phone autocorrect ABSOLUTELY REFUSES to remember the difference between “wines” and “wives” … I swear I type the former 100x more than I type the latter

but when you write notes along the lines of … “I really enjoyed experiencing your wives” instead of what you intended to write, it can lead to confusion

(I say this as I see that @Ewan kindly corrected just such an error on my note typed on my phone on the way home from the tasting last night)


I saw it and restrained myself from commenting


I was about to comment, but decided to do the honourable thing …


My moment was on my 40th birthday, we had been out all day, in fact on the London Eye and it was the Queen Mother’s funeral so a very busy day. We had to change times in order not to be on the eye when it stopped for a minute’s “silence”.

Anyway, I’d stood up a Cantemerle 1990, my best bottle, to drink with supper. On our return I’d opened it then helped serve up. My brother who is a wine sceptic arrived and, seeing me busy, helped himself and my sister in law to the wine, pouring into Reidel Bordeaux glasses, not the normal measure but almost to the brim. What can I say, I’ve still no idea how the wine may have tasted.


that’s not ‘awkward’ … that’s a TRAGEDY

I’m still wincing from the thought

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Love this thread. Makes me feel like I’m not alone.

I’m torn between the time I was at a restaurant in France, talking wine to the chef/patron. After the meal we asked for stickies and he brought out a venerable bottle of something or other from his personal stash which he promised would send us into raptures. He poured it reverentially and waited for our reaction. It was indeed nectar of the gods and deserved contemplation so I set my glass down and launched into poetic eulogy to my long suffering wife. Prone to wild gesticulation when excited I managed to sweep chef’s pride and joy across the room to scenes reminiscent of a Bateman cartoon. Our host was far too kind and replenished my glass through gritted teeth. My wife gave me one of those looks.

Or… the time, centuries ago when I took a bottle of Cono Sur’s 8 Barrels PN to a dinner party given by my then girlfriend’s boss. I handed it into his tender care, rhapsodising about its harmony, complexity and, yes, value. He then offered a tour of the house and showed me his wine cellar. Rack upon rack of wines I’d read about but never tasted. And of course he insisted on serving my nugatory wine with the meal. If I could have disappeared into the ground it would have been a blessed release from the embarrassment I suffered that evening.


Around 1980 I was in a queue waiting for a Decanter tutored tasting room to open and was chatting to an elderly gentleman in an old suit in front of me.

I was studying for the WSET and thought I knew quite a lot about wine and proceeded to give the benefit of my knowledge to the gentleman who seemed grateful for my nuggets of information, and he asked several gentle questions.

It was a couple of days later I saw his photograph in Decanter and I realised that the gentleman was Michael Broadbent.


Me too…

I went on a business trip to the USA in the 1990s. The last time I’d been in the USA was around 20 years previously.

A group of business colleagues went out for dinner and they asked me to choosea good red wine. So I said we had to have Zinfandel, and told them a bit about them. I didn’t bother asking for the wine list, but told the waiter to bring us a good Zinfandel.

When it came I told him he’d brought the wrong wine, I’d asked for a Zin. He solemnly pointed to the label – White Zinfandel.

Luckily it wasn’t too late to get a red wine and it was enjoyed by all, but my wine reputation was in shatters. I had no idea that in 20 years, for people in the USA, Zinfandel was pink and sweet and the restaurant didn’t have a single red Zin, only ‘white Zins’…


Too many to mention however…

Broke a coravin needle trying to “sample” a tawny port (plastic seal, cracked the needle immediately). In my defence I had already “sampled” a few glasses of wine…

Took a friend to a German wine tasting. He is not a fan of anything other than very dry wines. He tried a wine, yelled " oh god this is awful" at which point I introduced him to the winemaker standing next to him…

My first time with an enomatic I was a little impatient and when wine didn’t immediately pour out of the spigot I repeatedly jabbed the button. At this point 8 pourings flowed into the glass, overflowed and then poured over my shoes and the floor.

Etc etc etc


The white zin stories remind me of a tasting some years ago at the Geyser Peak winery in Healsburg CA. As we came towards the end the young woman produced a bottle of red zinfandel and asked us hesitantly “You do know that zin is red ???” We looked suitably affronted and replied that of course we knew. “oh good” she replied, “I only ask because we get a lot of people here from those little square states and they all think it’s pink!” We just loved the description of her customers.


Agreed, and me too

I wouldn’t have been diplomatic…
It almost reminds me… I’m sure I have rescued wine from family members’ glasses in the past, on some slim pretext of needing a couple more hours and besides, it’s for the … course, or other. I know it sounds extremely rude and embarrassing but I’m sure I’ve done it.
My brother in law, who shall remain nameless, drinks 10 times more wine than the rest of us and I’m frequently having to guard wine while I’m still finishing preparing dinner.