Wednesday, December 14, 2005

W(h)ine away

On the weekend DrH and I decided to be all bold and adveturous and went out for dinner to a small sushi place near our house. If you don´t think of this as bold and adventurous then you have not really considered HOW FAR BERLIN IS AWAY FROM ANY FISH-BEARING BODY OF WATER.

But despite our secret fears and the best attempts of a gaggle of workers starting with the underpaid fishers, through the overworked transcontinental truck drivers to the suspiciously silent Japanese waiter, we walked out with no food poisoning whatsoever.

To compensate and attempt to ensure at least some form of illness would follow, we went around the corner to a little wine bar/restuarant. One of those typical walk-past-it-a-thousand-times-and-said-every-time-I-must-go-in-there-but-haven´t-bothered-yet-as-the-kebab-shop-is-still-open.

So in we wander as if we own the place and grab a table in an appropriate niche, giving every impression of the kind of sophistication required to be at home in a wine bar without a wine list.

No wine list. Oh did our cheeks pinken when we asked and were politely but firmly informed that our waiter for the evening would herself be the wine list. Another sophistication faux par.

So what kind of wine would the Herr and Dame be interested in? Something full bodied, perhaps? Good. Sweet or not so sweet? Not too sweet? Oh I have just the thing, I´m sure you´d like it. Recently arrived, new to our selection. A full bodied Sicilian with a hint of tobacco.

I took the glass offered and sniffed as is considered appropriate, although the effort of getting my rather endowed nose into a glass can be a challenge even with the largest of red wine glasses. Not enough, I´ll have to go the full taste test. DrH watched me carefully as I took a small sip and swilled it around in my mouth. As I nearly spat it back at her.

A hint of tobacco? That drink tasted like a fucking ASHTRAY. The last time I had anything nearing it was when I accidentally grabbed the wrong beer at a Uni party and took a swig out of the butt bottle. Needless to say I keep very close tabs on my beer at parties these days.

So I was not about to pay 30€ for the same quaffing sensation as an undergrad piss-up.

I rejected the wine, stating clearly what I thought with a bit of Ummm, no, it isn´t really for me which in sophisticated speak means Damn it woman, you trying to poison me with that shit or what? much like We do not condone torture means Dang right we go kidnap, lock up and torture anyone we damn well please and to hell with your Geneva convention crap in Condoleezza speak.

Well our wine mistress for the evening certainly didn´t take it too well and when the second bottle came out, there wasn´t much choice in the matter anymore. We had to take it or risk the Evil Berlin Waitress Syndrome where they start dropping the plates in front of you from nose height rather than placing it gently on the table.

As we left, half a bottle later and 20€ poorer, I decided that the next time we try and do something sophisticated we should probably wear something other than hooded Linkin Park sweaters.


kilowatthour said...

awesome. WOW do i hate those cooler-than-thou establishments. they're a dime a dozen in new york.

Tom said...

hmmm... I'd hate to say it, but I love those pretentious and upity wine bars. I really enjoy wine and really, really enjoy a great wine. I think I also enjoy being a pretentious wine snob. Like 2 days ago when I went to a nice little wine-bar and asked for a "glass of the pinot", to which the reply from the young (cute) lass was "the new-er?". After a brief pause and what must have been a confused look on my face, I said "aah yeah". Realizing that she meant noir... I was thinking, you work in a wine bar, there are about 10 common varietals, how phucking hard can it be? You ignorant fool! Yep, I'm a wine snob :-)

One thing is for sure, if it is a half descent wine bar, then you can usually get a good drop. If you want to drink nice beer, go to a good pub. If you want to drink nice wine, go to a good wine bar.

I guess you have to find a wine bar you can rely on as having good wine at a reasonable price.

Having said all that, the concept of not having a wine list in a wine bar is a bit phucking stoopid. They probably have a small, piss-weak celler and just go down to the local $2 shop and get whatever is on special and try to flog it off as something tasty.

Maybe they're just a little too far up themselves.