18 April 2011

Skunky wines and aliens

Husband and I had a very weird few minutes at a fancy dinner out last night.  The weirdness was catalyzed by the most horrendous bottle of wine we’ve ever had the displeasure to taste.

 (Although now that I think about it... a couple years back we opened a family-size bottle of wine husband had gotten for his twenty-first birthday and I have a video that proves it was a noxious toxic bottle of ungodly nasty.  See video shot below; note sickly brown color.  In said video I declare that it ‘tastes like s---,’ and husband cries ‘oh, f---ing hell’ upon first taste but says it ‘probably still has alcohol,’ and I further attempt to describe it as ‘halfway between, like, rigatoni and – ugh, it’s just—’ and then I try to throw it out before husband stops me because he got it for his birthday.  So maybe that wine wins.  But this new wine was a close second and it was especially bad because we wasted half a bottle of it trying to convince ourselves it was good because we bought it at a restaurant and had no reason to suspect foul play.)
This still wins as the worst wine we ever attempted to drink.

Husband is too meek and gentle and kind a creature to tell the waiter last night that the first trial taste was hideously horrendous, so we got stuck trying to finish off the whole stupid bottle.  I won’t say what winery this bottle came from.  But it was supposed to be a 2007 chardonnay, and maybe it was a 2007 but it was most definitely not a chardonnay.  It was a Mountain Dew-colored bright yellow cloudy concoction that smelled like the underside of a deceased skunk.  Not even slightly kidding.  

Sometimes, in the better times, we could convince ourselves it merely smelled like manure or a really musky cigar.  And even when we plugged our noses and even though as humans we only have five different types of taste bud, I can tell you that all five types were rebelling against this wine.  It was also 14.4% alcohol, so as the bottle wore on and we started figuring out ways to consume it without really experiencing it (“Ooh, ooh ooh, take a really deep breath and exhale the whole way through the sip!” or “If you chug like a really big swallow of it the taste kind of overpowers the smell for a moment!”) we started getting more inventive about describing it.

I think in the end we were including phrases like skunky zombie spunk, pustule, yeast infected, and many more colorful terms I can thankfully no longer recall, which I’m sure at 14.4% -OH we were saying loudly enough to turn off some of the far more genteel patrons at surrounding tables.  But this stuff was awful.  And I’m pretty sure it probably included some weird Amazon poison dart frog slime, because I was seriously tripping out at the vision of the other total weirdness of the evening.

See, there was this geriatric table across the restaurant, right in our line of sight.  And it was getting dark out.  And one of the ladies had these really nifty reading glasses with LED lights which totally helped her see and were very functional for menu-reading in low light:

But dude.  They totally made her look like an alien.

I refuse to divulge how long it took me to find examples online that even vaguely capture the bizarreness of this sight.  But if you take these pictures and you make the eyes blue-white and you set them far apart on the subject’s head like if E.T. was wearing night-vision goggles or something, then you start to approach a vision of the kind of creature we had facing us across the restaurant.  

The Ready Set's Love Like Woe video

 Some picture related to the game Splinter Cell

And the skunky zombie wine wasn’t helping.  I was seriously in duck-and-cover mode trying to figure out what it all meant.  Lucky for me, I’d already mapped out all the best escape routes and was prepared to drag husband with me if it turned out to be necessary.

This story does not have an exciting ending.  We eventually raised the white flag with the wine and asked to see the wine menu again, and even though we assured the waiter we’d pay for the bottle we couldn’t stomach, he took it off our tab anyway.  And about five minutes later the LED alien turned back into a lovely elderly lady when she finished reading her menu, and we got on with our evening.  All in all it was a lovely dinner.  The end.

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