Awkward wine lover moments

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.


Hello everyone! I started in the wine biz working at a small wine merchant in south london. Like me, the staff were all young and eager and our enthusiasm for wine was infectious. I learnt more (and drank more!) in that brief time than possibly any other period. At the end of the month our salaries would barely cover our bill. We would while away the hours stroking the shop’s best bottles on the top shelves whispering ‘One day!’

One particularly successful Christmas we pooled resources and splashed out on a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée NV, the most expensive bottle we sold. I was so excited! I still remember so vividly putting my glass down in front of the till and watching as if in slow motion as I stupidly opened the register and the full glass emptied its oh-so-precious cargo all over my crotch. Unlike my colleagues I failed to see the funny side for quite some time! Has anyone had a more expensive wine stain?

I haven’t had much luck with Krug. Another time a very excited punter came in and asked for: ‘The most expensive Champagne known to man!’.
I pointed him in the direction of the Krug.
‘£75, please’
‘Double or quits’ he countered.
Come again?
‘Let’s toss a coin. Heads I don’t pay, tails I pay you double. I tell you what as I’ve been so lucky today I’ll pay you triple!’
‘You’re on!’ we said. We tossed the coin. Heads.
He looked disappointed for us.
‘I’ll give you another chance. Best of three!’
Heads again. His day was made and my gambling days were well and truly over…


@Paul_Trelford that sounds like a missing chapter from ‘Corkscrew


… or maybe Batman … was the customer’s name Harvey Dent?

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That’s a harrowing story!! My wife winced as I read that!

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Haha, I can’t believe you agreed to this in the first place! It just made me think about the double-headed coin on Only Fools and Horses:laughing:

Heads I win, tails you lose?

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This evening I wasn’t paying attention to the wine opening moment (being distracted by having recently returned from having my bike stolen while I was shopping in Southampton) and took a capsule cutter to a screw top bottle! Imagine my surprise when the heroic cutter took off the top of the capsule and I looked in vain for the cork. Embarrassing.


That’s hilarious @JayKay and sorry to hear about your bike x

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@JayKay OMG, haha! We’ve all done something like that, though. :rofl:
Also, am I the only one who has (normally after a couple of glasses) tried to pour someone another glass from a screwcap wine without actually undoing the screwcap? :upside_down_face: I wish I could say this has only happened once…

Hope you get your bike back! How horrid. :frowning:


Yes @laura, too many times to have kept count ! :woman_facepalming:t3::woman_facepalming:t3: