Last weekend my wife and I attended a dinner party at the home of some friends of ours. The hosts asked me to bring a couple of “fun bottles” for happy hour, and mentioned in passing that there would be five other couples there. Figuring that we were fourteen thirsty people in total, I brought three bottles of Ferrari Brut, a sparkling wine from Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region; three bottles of red (Planeta’s 2013 La Segreta Rosso, a Sicilian blend of Nero d’Avola, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc); and two magnums of Jean-Luc Colombo’s 2015 Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Cape Bleue—a rosé from Provence, in France. They all seemed fun to me, but I was particularly pleased with my super-sized bottles of salmon-pink rosé.
While I never actually plan to play bartender at most parties, I always seem to end up in that role; that’s what happens to the guy with the wine key. I’m also the guy policing the greedy over-pourers who like to drain a third of a bottle in one fell swoop. (“Hi—can I help you stop pouring?” usually works.) It’s also worth mentioning that at this particular party I didn’t know any of the other guests, so I had no idea what they’d think “fun” wine was. Tasty Sicilian red? Wine from a bottle shaped like a fish? Six hundred dollar Bordeaux? You never know.
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As it happened, six guests asked for the Ferrari sparkler, two guests went straight for the Planeta rosso, and two guests pointed to the Colombo Rosé, sort of sheepishly. Then my wife walked over and enthusiastically asked for the rosé, followed by the hosts, who did the same thing. I poured a fourth glass for myself and joined the party. The non-rosé-drinking guests seemed curious that the “wine expert” was drinking pink. One of the guys said, “I’m sorry, but I just don’t get rosé.” Another guy offered, “I just don’t like that sweet stuff.” And one of the women said, “I used to love those ‘blush’ wines, but not anymore! They’re gross.” I felt myself about to start ranting and raving, but being a fellow with good manners (at least most of the time), I figured I’d save it for here.