New York City — I was dining the other night with a colleague, enjoying a respectable Russian River Pinot Noir, when he said with a steely firmness: “We’ll pour our own wine, thank you.”
This declaration of independence was prompted by that quintessential New York restaurant phenomenon: a server reducing a bottle of wine to a seven-minute, four-glass experience through overfilling and topping-up of a fanaticism found rarely outside the Middle East.
I know I’m being elitist here, a terrible thing in this political season, and quite possibly nobody in small-town Pennsylvania gives a damn how wine is poured. But I don’t care and, come to think of it, last time I was in small-town Pennsylvania — at Gettysburg — I drank rather well.
Acceptable cappuccino was also available throughout the commonwealth at Dunkin’ Donuts outlets, which makes one wonder if liberal elitism really begins and ends in Cambridge, Hyde Park and Berkeley these days. I even saw a Volvo somewhere west of Harrisburg.
But that’s another story, albeit important, of seeping American sophistication-cum-Europeanization.
The liberation I felt at my colleague’s I’ll-pour boldness was intoxicating. That’s right, I thought, we need to take our lives back. Drinking at your own pace is the best revenge. (suite…)