Sharing wine is quite possibly the most fulfilling way to drink it. We’d wager wine against any other booze as the most social alcohol out there. What other beverage has 4-5 servings, and should ideally be finished soon after it’s opened? Not liquor — you can crack a bottle of whiskey and solitarily sip on a glass of the stuff off and on for years. Not beer either, as it almost always comes in a single serving. Sure you could tap a keg or crack a 40, but that’s not the truly traditional way you drink beer, unless you’re a 18-22 year old college student. Unlike its peers, wine is just begging to be shared.
Seriously, there is no greater pleasure than watching a companion fall in love with a wine you’ve opened. Many times, it’s a wine they might never have thought to buy for themselves, and not always because of the price point, but often simply because they didn’t know enough about it to take the risk and try it. Other times it may be a wine they just didn’t have the opportunity to purchase because it can only be bought at the vineyard, or you need to be on a special list in order to receive it.
That’s why we can’t understand how certain wine drinkers say they don’t share nice wine with some of their friends because those friends “won’t get or appreciate it.” Understanding wine comes from drinking a lot of it, pure and simple. One will never understand why some swoon over a Napa Valley Cabernet or kill for a White Burgundy unless they have the chance to try it for themselves. Allowing your fellow drinkers that opportunity is one of the greatest services you can do for wine drinkers everywhere. And along with giving your companions their chance to enjoy and experience the wine, you also enjoy the added bonus of getting to tell them why you love the wine so much in the first place. It’s a win win for all involved.
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Nobody gains anything by drinking bad wine — especially you — so stop saving the good stuff for yourself. We all know the bad wine we’re talking about: it’s the wine you only serve when you think your company isn’t sophisticated enough to care. Over the past few years we’ve read a few other wine publications that encourage this sort of behavior, and we couldn’t disagree more. We highly doubt the winemakers you covet would want you to horde the wine they’ve worked so hard to create in the first place, saving it all for yourself and never sharing a drop of it with others.
While behaving in this manner may mean more wine for you, it also guarantees you’ll be labeled a snob, and that’s not a title we think looks good in front of anyone’s name.
So stop hoarding and start sharing. Wine, even the collectible stuff, was created to be drunk, not stared at on a shelf. Give your drinking companions a little credit, and use each opportunity to show them why you fell in love with wine to begin with.
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