#12 – Drink an Expensive Wine. Check.

All year people have been telling me where I could taste a fine wine, or suggesting a great wine for me to taste. However, I secretly had a plan in place for this particular goal. The first was that I would ONLY drink an expensive wine on a day where everything seemed just right in my life (translation: I would not drown my sorrows in fine wine). Another particular was that it might be in celebration of something. And finally, I didn’t want to just TASTE a fine wine. I wanted to drop some dollars on a bottle of wine.

You see, I have a broad palette for wine. I like it red; I like it white. I like it from a bottle; I like it from a box. Part of me has wondered if I could taste the difference between a $8.99 bottle of wine from Rite Aid, and a $100 bottle of wine ordered at a restaurant. 

And what constitutes an expensive wine? To some, $30 might be a lot, and to others $150 might seem paltry. I decided that $100 seemed like a nice round number. One crisp bill. I would have to work about three hours to pay for that bottle….

As it happened, today felt right. It’s a holiday, and I’m recovering from my wild weekend in Austin. My friend, Courtney, and I went on a  hike in Forest Park since the weather was nice, and decided to drop into Hall Street Grill (our regular spot where everyone knows our name). On Sundays and Mondays, Hall Street does 1/2 price bottles of wine over $50. Service is great and the food is pretty exceptional for Beaverton, Oregon.

We parked ourselves at a table in the bar, and randomly selected a $91 bottle of pinot noir from Willakenzie Estates. The bartender gave us a little song and dance about what made the wine a “good” wine, and we swirled and we smelled and we tasted. I’m not going to lie: I thought it tasted like every other red wine I’ve had before. I was like, “Huh, I really can’t tell the difference.”

That’s ok, though, becuase the wine itself was a symbol. In my head, I toasted a few things to myself:

I am financially comfortable enough to buy a hundred dollar bottle of wine (50% off, that is!).

I completed my Initial Administrator’s Licensing Program, which took two and a half grueling years.

I have worked tirelessly over the last 10 years and am finally feeling my work pay off.

I am healthy and happy.


But while sharing our bottle of Willakenzie Estate’s Pinot Noir, we both wondered, Is this wine really different?! Thus I couldn’t help but follow up the bottle with a glass of the $5 house red.

OH MY GOD IT WAS NOT GOOD. It looked watery. It smelled like vinegar. It tasted like swill. I suddenly realized that the expensive bottle of wine was way better! How satisfying it was! Just after discussing how our Citizen’s Police Academy Class had changed our perspective on law enforcement, suddenly our wine perspective was also broadened.

It’s not like I’m suddenly going to be some giant wine snob. All I’m saying is that sometimes you just need to throw caution to the wind, and celebrate the simple things, with slightly extravagant things…

4 thoughts on “#12 – Drink an Expensive Wine. Check.

  1. Had this experience with Tequila as well. A friend welcomed us home one year with an anejo. We had no idea how much it cost…we just thought the company had changed its bottle. Then when we went to buy a replacement it was ridiculously expensive. So we bought our same old same old tequila. Holy cow batman! It was bad. Totally tequila snobs now.

    • I also feel that way about oil and vinegar. I went to a specialty shop in Kansas that offered “tastings.” We went in joking about how a shop that only sells oil and vinegar could stay open, and by the time we left we had all purchased several bottles. I’m a huge vinegar snob!

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