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Overheard in the wine shop . . .


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#1 Fat Guy

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 06:23 AM

"Which is better, a Merlot or a Bordeaux?"

Heard any howlers lately?
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#2 sashorter

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 06:29 AM

Which is better, a Merlot or a Bordeaux?


That question is about as meaningful as "what is the definition of barbecue?" :unsure:
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#3 slacker

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 06:47 AM

'Don't drink any thing French. They won't buy our beef, why should we buy their wine? Where's your Champagne?'
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#4 "T"

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 06:48 AM

Someone came in yesterday and asked for a cabernet sauvignon. So I showed her one from Chile, she then said " no, I want a white cabernet sauvignon". What do ya do.
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#5 vengroff

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 06:51 AM

On a flight from Philly to Paris:

Flight Attendant: What would you like to drink with your dinner?
Me: What type of wine do you have?
Flight Attendant: We have two, a red one and a white one.

Not Air France, in case you were wondering.
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#6 Varmint

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 06:53 AM

On a flight from Philly to Paris:

Flight Attendant: What would you like to drink with your dinner?
Me: What type of wine do you have?
Flight Attendant: We have two, a red one and a white one.

Not Air France, in case you were wondering.

Although that's the answer that most of the passengers would have wanted. The typical response would have been, "What, no white zinfandel?"
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#7 GordonCooks

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 06:55 AM

"Is it cheaper if you buy a case?" - the wine in question was a box of Franzia Blush

"They call it Port because the sailors put rum in wine to make it stronger"

"White Zinfandel, of course - who ever heard of RED zinfandel"

#8 Andre

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:04 AM

There are many things said in a wine shop but the one thing I can not stand are silly arguments.
Some examples:
A lady tried to convince me there is actually a red Emerald Riesling.

I had a sparkling Australian wine returned because it said Pinot Noir on the label.

The top event:
A wine maker trying to convince in a wine tasting that the plastic cork is the ultimate thing.
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#9 britcook

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:23 AM

"Which is better, a Merlot or a Bordeaux?"

So why is that funny? It shows a lack of knowledge sure, but ignorance is not of itself amusing.

#10 tommy

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:26 AM

but ignorance is not of itself amusing.

oh really? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

#11 Fat Guy

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:28 AM

Since when is ignorance a forbidden category of humor? Ignorance is an endless source of laughs. But of course, once you start debating about whether or not something is funny, it becomes un-funny. Humor is a bit more existential than that.
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#12 mcdowell

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:34 AM

So why is that funny? It shows a lack of knowledge sure, but ignorance is not of itself amusing.


It's a type of 'elitist humor', making people feel better about where they are in life in some particular area by making fun of those who are ignorant or naive in that same area.

I work in technology, writing operating systems, and, brother, we can make fun of some people over ignorance. And we do.

But FG's right, once you start analyzing it, or even stop to realize that the people you're making fun of could well make fun of you in whatever area they know, it stops being funny.

Edited by mcdowell, 17 July 2003 - 07:36 AM.


#13 Busboy

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:43 AM

I once worked with a very knowledgeable and very correct waiter in a swell French place. A customer asked for a "California Burgundy." He replied, "Burgundy, sir, is in France," and walked away.
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#14 Nevan

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:58 AM

I always thought it was just a bad and tired joke from some dumb movie, but I really did last summer overhear two guys looking at wine bottles on the shelf and one said to the other "I really like that Mer Lot wine a lot." I swear to a diety! (ok, I know, not everyone is an oenophile, and it isn't nice to make fun of of the vinously-challenged, but these guys WERE in a wine shop, and I'm basically an elitist anyway . . . so I found it funny . . .if you don't find it funny, then don't laugh.)

#15 carswell

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 08:03 AM

The top event:
A wine maker trying to convince in a wine tasting that the plastic cork is the ultimate thing.

Um. What's so funny about that? Unless, of course, you mean he should have said screw caps are the ultimate thing...

My top howler came from a still-wet-behind-the-ears SAQ (Quebec liquor board) clerk who answered the phone when I called to ask whether they had a certain California chardonnay in stock. He said he'd check. A few minutes later, he came back on the line and asked, "Chardonnay — that's a white, right?"

#16 Bux

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 08:13 AM

"Which is better, a Merlot or a Bordeaux?"

So why is that funny? It shows a lack of knowledge sure, but ignorance is not of itself amusing.

Ignorance is not if itself amusing, but it becomes amusing when it's the basis for over reaching. It's always amusing when a novice seeks a quick answer, but it's funnier yet when he feigns some knowledge by dropping two names out of context.

I suppose "zinfandel" will be a part of too many "overheards." Here's my recent "overheard in a wine shop."
Customer: I'm looking for _ zinfandel. (Can't remember if he specified a brand.)
Salesman: They're over there. Go straight and make a left at the first rack.
Customer: (With a quizzical look on his face) Those are red wines there.
Salesman: (Short silence before a polite response.)
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#17 MatthewB

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 08:48 AM

Overheard a couple of months ago . . .

Elderly woman (wandering up & down the French wine aisle)
Salesman: "Is there something you're looking for that I might help you find?"
Elderly woman (moves next to Salesman & lowers voice): "Yes. I'm looking for some Fat Bastard."
Salesman: "That's right over here."
Elderly woman giggles like a schoolgirl.

#18 Coop

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 09:05 AM

I believe this is off topic, but the funniest winespeak I have ever heard was in a movie called The Great White Hope. Jamie Fox and Samuel L. Jackson had this on going discussion of thier pimped out rides, refering to the Mer Loo Bro-Ham (merlot brougham) with the petit syrah interior.
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#19 britcook

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 10:56 AM

Since when is ignorance a forbidden category of humor? Ignorance is an endless source of laughs. But of course, once you start debating about whether or not something is funny, it becomes un-funny. Humor is a bit more existential than that.

Ignorance is of course a great source of laughs, but is still not, of itself, funny. But I still don't see why this is such a howler. Now if it had been a Chablis and a Chardonnay, or a Fume Blanc and a Sauvignon Blanc I could have found some fun in it. Surely you're not thinking that a Merlot and a Bordeaux are the same thing? Or are we back to the Plotnicki concept of evaluating "better"?

#20 Meow-Mix

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 11:01 AM

"Which is better, a Merlot or a Bordeaux?"

So why is that funny? It shows a lack of knowledge sure, but ignorance is not of itself amusing.

They are only as God made them.

#21 tommy

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 11:21 AM

But I still don't see why this is such a howler. Now if it had been a Chablis and a Chardonnay, or a Fume Blanc and a Sauvignon Blanc I could have found some fun in it. Surely you're not thinking that a Merlot and a Bordeaux are the same thing? Or are we back to the Plotnicki concept of evaluating "better"?

i think the funny part was the "which is better" bit.

again, if it has to be explained, it might be time to move on. :wink:

#22 Meow-Mix

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 11:29 AM

"They call it Port because the sailors put rum in wine to make it stronger"

That is pretty funny :laugh:

#23 britcook

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 03:19 PM

again, if it has to be explained, it might be time to move on.  :wink:

I'm gone to get my SOH refurbished :laugh:

#24 tommy

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 03:22 PM

again, if it has to be explained, it might be time to move on. :wink:

I'm gone to get my SOH refurbished :laugh:

we'll expect you back bright and early monday morning.

#25 cmvnapa

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 03:32 PM

Someone came in yesterday and asked for a cabernet sauvignon. So I showed her one from Chile, she then said " no, I want a white cabernet sauvignon". What do ya do.

Vichon Winery (there's an old name for you) actually had a White Cab at one time. It was pretty bad.

And then a great novelty, for one vintage only!,was "Le Petit Faux Pas" from Stags Leap (the Winiarski version) when some cellar rat mistakenly mixed some of their best Cab with some Chardonnay.

#26 Carema

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 05:51 PM

Anecdote #1
Customer: Ma'am, do you carry any peanut nawah?"
Confused Manager: "Eh? You want peanuts now? We do not carry any snacks?"

Anecdote #2:
Lady: I'd like some Chardonnay. I do not like oak. I really like the Sonoma Cutrer"
Manager: "Lady I hate to break it to you but you like oak. Lots and lots of oak."
Lady: "I do????"

At a riesling tasting:
Marty G (hated taster):"Why does everything smell like a sewer?
{Later it was learned that Marty was employed at the Water Treatment Plant}

(From Night Manager DON)
Customer:"I want the closest thing you have to Sutter Home White Zinfandel. It is my wife's birthday, that's her favorite and we are eating across the street."
Customer is given an Anjou Rose with a fair amount of RS.
asks, "What is the difference between this and Sutter Home?"
Night Manager, "This is a real wine."

over it

#27 Fat Guy

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 06:41 PM

the funniest winespeak I have ever heard was in a movie called The Great White Hope

That was pretty good, but what about The Jerk?

A summary from BeverageBusiness.com:

In a now famous scene from "The Jerk," comedian Steve Martin snaps his fingers at the sommelier of a posh restaurant and demands to be served the best wine in the house at once. When the intimidated server returns cradling a legendary bottle of Bordeaux in a decanting basket, Martin sneers at him. "What do you take me for, a fool?" he snaps. "That's an old wine," he says, inspecting the label. "I want something new." This, of course, is funny because it indicates his nouveau riche ignorance.

http://www.beverageb.../mmblock02.html

(Left that last part in to help explain why it's funny . . .)

The reason I find "Merlot or Bordeaux?" so funny is exactly because of the category error, and of course because of the ignorance the attempted comparison represents. It's also a "you had to be there" situation. Had some meek little thing come in, obviously misinformed by some evil wrongdoer, I'd be thinking, "Maybe I should help out gently here," because the salesperson certainly wasn't up to the task. But this was just some bombastic idiot trying to be a know-it-all, and I had no sympathy -- only the humor component was left to shine through.
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#28 eatingmike

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:30 PM

Student in an introductory wine class says to me (teacher): "Why does drinking red wine give me a headache?"

Me: "oh, maybe because you drink too much?"

#29 Jason Perlow

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:36 PM

I was in a store about a week ago, when this couple was browsing around and asked me where the bottles of the Pinot Grigio were... I mentioned to them that they might want to try some of the Pinot Gris wines from Alsace since they were the same varietal, but they said they refused to drink them because "They are French and besides, they don't make them in the big one liter plus sizes"

Ugh.
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#30 KatieLoeb

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 10:13 PM

An amusing experience I had while working at a specialty wine shop. The date is December 31, 1999 and the phone rings. I answer it. A gentleman asks me, "I have a bottle of Champagne and want to know if it's ready to drink."

"OK sir. Who is the producer?"

"Ferrer."

"I'm sorry sir, who?"

"Ferrer. Gloria Ferrer from Sonoma."

"OK - (I am already stifling the urge to giggle because it isn't even real Champagne, however, I realize the label may say Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves and assume he doesn't know it's Sparkling wine. I proceed)...and what year did you say it was?"

"Um - let me see...It doesn't seem to have a year on it. It just says Sonoma Brut (rhyme with gut)"

"Alrighty then. Sir, what day is it?"

"It's New Year's Eve."

"Right. And is there some other special occasion that you're saving this wine for? An anniversary, graduation, anything??"

"Well, no, not really."

"And do you think you'll be here for the next milennium to drink it?"

"(giggles) Certainly not!"

"Well given all that, what exactly are you waiting for to drink it?"

"I want it to be at it's peak."

"Sir - it's New Year's of the millennium. DRINK IT!!!"

:wacko: ARRRGH!!! I didn't have the heart to tell the poor soul that he was holding on to a bottle of $17.99 sparkling wine as if it were the next coming of the vintage of the century. This just proves to me that even the most unknowlegeable wine drinker has this ridiculous notion that a bottle must be drunk at some unknowable nanosecond in the space-time continuum. Wine should produce joy and not anxiety. This will never cease to amaze and irritate me. I suppose this makes sommeliers bloody geniuses because they can read the stars and divine when that exact moment might be. :wink:

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