Every now and again I get a call out of the blue asking if I want to spend a day (or two or three) pouring wine. So all day yesterday and all day today I was/am at the Palazzo/Venetian pouring wine for conventioneers attending the G2E (Global Gaming Expo). Now if you like wine as much as I do — not just drinking it, but talking about it, learning about it, sharing it — this is like having a party and getting paid for it!
So yesterday morning I headed out in plenty of time (I thought) because I remember parking at the Palazzo is a nightmare. As I got in the car, I remembered I needed to get gas. “Well, I can do that on the way home,” I told myself as I pulled onto the freeway — and hit a wall of traffic. Ten minutes later, I joined the long line of cars crawling down the exit. Finally got onto Las Vegas Boulevard — a straight shot — and hit every red light. The only light that wasn’t red was the little gas pump shaped yellow light flashing on my dashboard. Oh, great. My cushion of time was evaporating and I frantically tried to think of where a gas station was — and suddenly there was an Arco sign! A couple blocks out of the way, but who cared? I pulled in, got enough gas to get there and back, pulled out onto the sidestreet and a block later I realized I was in the “bus only” lane and I was going the wrong way. No bus materialized, however, and I managed to turn off. Another 3 minutes gobbled up.
By the time I reached the Palazzo garage I had 5 minutes to get upstairs, through the casino and the long walk down the hall all the way to the back of the convention center. This replaced the morning walk I’d missed. And YES! I made it!! So … on to the actual tasting.
This time I had a really great assortment to pour, three reds and three whites and it was a wide assortment. The whites were a sparkling wine — Proseco from Italy — a Chardonnay and a Moscato. The reds were Pinot Noir, Merlot and a blend of 3 reds by Menage a Trois. (Well it wouldn’t make sense for it to be a blend of 4 reds with that name.)
The convention was open 10-5 and we poured pretty steadily all that time. Everyone loved the Menage a Trois — it was the wine of the day. The sweet Moscato was the second favorite and after that the Proseco. As I was putting everything away at the end, I realized that I had barely made a dent in the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir — lots of that left. Those are my two least favorite wines and although I simply poured what people asked for, I couldn’t help but wonder if I subconsciously slighted those two. You know, somehow subliminally broadcasting the message that “that’s swill …” although the people who tasted them seemed to enjoy them. But hey, what’s not to enjoy about free wine, huh?
So today I’ll see if the trend changes. And for my money, give me a big juicy Zinfandel any day of the week. Every day, even!