It was several years ago, at a Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles, that we ran across a vendor hyping self-swirling wine glasses. Of course, our first thought was, seriously? How lazy do you have to be?
That being said, they were rather attractive, with nice big bowls and a narrow mouth, and Anne thought they might be fun to test for a blog post. So she bought a pair in spite of Michael’s protests. Hey, they weren’t that expensive and they are pretty.
We planned to test them, but once we got the glasses home, we discovered that they have a flaw so fundamental, you have to wonder why the manufacturer hadn’t thought of it. You can’t set the glasses down.
Well, you can, but they aren’t very stable. And while they don’t swirl enough to actually aerate the wine, we’re not betting our best chairs that a glass will stay in place well enough to grab a sip while reading the latest Donna Andrews mystery (How the Finch Stole Christmas – it’s hysterical, as usual).
We forget who made them – it’s not important, anyway. The real point is that this is a cautionary tale. Ninety-nine percent of the gadgets and gizwatchies out there meant to “enhance the wine experience” don’t do squat. All you really need to enhance the wine experience is some good food or some good people you care about. Preferably both.
This is important to remember at this time of year, with the holiday gifting season relentlessly bearing down on us. If you have a wine lover on your list, your best bet is to buy that person some wine. If you feel like you don’t know enough to do it well, then either find a good, non-chain wine store, and talk to the nice people behind the counter (and leave if said people look down their long-bony noses at you), or get a gift certificate to a good, non-chain wine store. Or better yet, offer a dinner out with your wine-loving friends.
It’s not about the gadgets and gizwatchies. It’s always going to be about the wine, and that’s what makes it good.