When it comes to imbibing the fine beverages of an alcoholic inclination, libertarians often hold their own. But I do seem to read about a bit of excessive consumption of barley products amongst them. Instead of fine wine, as the gods intended. Wine is in many ways superior to beer. It looks better, it smells better, and it tastes better. Wine glasses are more elegant than beer glasses. Wine takes longer to make and age than beer, another plus when it comes to judging quality. Like a fine aged prosciutto or jamon is better than whatever random ham.
Now, normal I would drop some of this fine knowledge on you lot during belly up to the bar, but if I am awake at 2 am on a Friday, I am not on Glibertarians, wink wink nudge nudge know what I mean.
Beer, my fine fellows, in many a circumstance, is not the drinks of the upper classes. As Any Fule Knos, libertarians are all selfish, greedy and, of course, filthy rich, and as such we are the upper classes. The exploiters of the proletariat. There is, I would assume, not one among us with less than 1 million dollars in the bank. And by bank, I mean gold coins in a secret vault, with a bathtub just in case. Otherwise, we would not be libertarians, would we?
As socially aware individuals, we can’t just go out wearing our finest vintage top hat and diamond encrusted monocle and order up a pint. That just ain’t proper. What you need is the fine nectar of the vines, a good red wine or a good white, depending on the food and weather. It goes without saying that rosé wine is unacceptable, as rosé is for communists and high school kids, people with little understanding of the workings of the world.
Now, if the situation may find you by the pool or near a grill laden with the flesh of birds and beasts, wearing a casual top hat and a sun monocle, maybe a good beer works fine, as refreshment and hydration. Also if there is somehow a requirement to watch a sporting event or other.
Going out to eat or socialize with our upper-class peers, wine is a must. The question would be what wine. Even for the person educated in such matters, the sheer number and variety of wines out there means the choice may not always be straight forward. Now I would assume a restaurant a self-respecting glib would visit has a proper sommelier, trained from a young orphan in the fine art of finding the perfect wine for libertarians. In that case, do not hesitate to ask for an opinion, even if you may not take it.
Some base rules for wine can be listed. Never buy the cheapest wine, like poor people, as that is just so gauche, or the most expensive one, as you risk looking like someone with more money than sense. This is important as you people represent the whole glibertarian community. We are an amorphous collective after all.
Try to have some idea of countries, regions, and grapes. You can also learn a few random factoids about the major regions, the ones which will likely appear on most wine list. It will give you the chance to appear savvy as you throw a random comment here and there while reading the wine list. Avoid wines with gimmicky names and overly elaborate labels, as you will want to be classy.
After selecting a bottle, the waiter will hopefully bring it to you and open it. When that happens, resist the urge of doing something profoundly silly, like smelling the cork – as some people, at least in Europe, somehow heard was a good idea. One would presume the waiter will not give you a corked wine, and one whiff of the glass should let you know if this is the case. If a decanter is available you can ask for the wine to be decanted if it is a fairly young tannic red. Or whatever really, if you like to see wine poured into a decanter. The waiter will pour some for you to taste – most decent ones do.
When you taste the wine – and any decent place should offer a taste before pouring- take a smell and maybe a small sip to see if the wine is in any way defective. Do not describe it, praise it or whatever, as that is not the point of tasting. Just give the waiter a small nod and say fine in a soft voice, glacially accept his offering. You are doing him, after all, a favour for not smashing the bottle to the ground.
If there is some fault, do not hesitate to return the wine. Now if the wine is fault free but you don’t like it, the opinions are split. Some would say return it anyway and try something else. I am not of this view. I believe if the wine is not defective, proper etiquette is to accept it, otherwise, the restaurant may waste a perfectly good bottle just because you do not know what to order. And that does not reflect well on the rest of us.
Once the wine is poured, you may want to describe in more detail it in order to impress others. If you are alone, just raise your voice enough so people at other tables can hear you. Start with the basics – oak, tannin, acidity and the like. Use words like mouth-feel, finish, aftertaste… these sort of things. Then casually slip in how you sense a hint of leaf covered forest floor in the Rocky Mountains, in May at approximately 4000 feet altitude after a light rain, at about 7 pm, as there is no smell like it and it is definitely present in this wine. No one will be able to tell you any differently.
Or you know, ignore the best advice and get a bottle of something palatable and drink it. What do I care? Just don’t come crying to me when your libertarian card gets revoked.