A BYOB establishment provides plenty of opportunity for wine snobs to show off.
Depending on the size of the party, it can take a wheely bin or a perambulator to transport the wine from a black SUV to a table.
Those who are familiar with the process of a BYOB take delight in telling you (Special category of the Bleeding Obvious) that they will be needing….
“And I’ll want a….um…”
Yes, sir, of course sir, immediately. I’ll bring you an ice-bucket and some flutes for the champagne.
Those unfamiliar with the BYOB usually present you with a plastic bag filled with ice chips. Somewhere in the bag is a lone bottle of something you wouldn’t want to use to put out a fire.
“Are you going to be taking care of us?”
“Taking care of” is what they call it here. In my books you take care of someone with mumps. Or dementia. Or elderly men take care of those forced into the oldest profession in the world, as in “Ee took good care of me ee did. Ee was a good man…”
So you wait (because that is what waiters do) while Mr Wine Snob roots around undecided about what wine you should open first. His party are his captive audience.
“Let’s start with the Cab” finally suggests a man with hair that looked as though it were the main reason for Brylcreem’s success.
Mr Wine Snob puts his meat plate hands on the table.
“OK. Well, open the Cab and also open the Zinf.” Mr WS is clearly annoyed that someone else has an opine.
“But we don’t know what we are going to eat yet!” he says argumentatively.
In my books thinking that you HAVE to drink white wine with fish and red wine with meat is as silly and dated as people who wag a finger in your face and say “No white after Labour Day!”
“I know! Let’s start with the champagne!”
It is my fervent hope that the expression on my face doesn’t belie the fact that I know the difference between Dom Perignon and a little Prosecco picked up for $9.99.
“What’s this? What’s this say? I can’t read the menu…. It looks like Caramel 123…”
“Caramelized, sir. It says caramelized.” I explain gently.
I return to the table with six flutes. By now I can open a bottle of pop so that it makes as much noise as a moth landing. But those sitting at the table look dubious.
Six pairs of eyes like headlights with feelers follow my every move. Perhaps they are merely mesmerized by my barbed-wire veined arms and hands.
“Bring you glasses for the red? Of course, sir, immediately.”
“And when you’ve done that open this one. It needs to breathe.”
I nod gravely while he sniffs the cork like a bloodhound.
Thinking that wine can breathe through the neck of a bottle is a nonsense. So is it a nonsense to decant wine that is next door to Fortris.
So is it an affectation to sniff the cork.
“Beaujolais Nouveau is a fun wine…” Mr Wine Snob has commenced a soliloquy. “It’s not too fruity, neither is it too primeur. It’s not flimsy…. To put it another way …it has a cheeky little nose.”
All six people are frantically swirling wine around and poking their noses into the Riedel crystal glasses. Swirl, swirl, swirlswirlSWIRL….some are swirling at 78 rpms….others at a more sedate 33 and third….
Two hours later they are still at it. A fungus of drinkers who have started to carouse – while sitting down – and behave like clots.