One of my favorite television shows is ABC’s What Would You Do?
With the use of hidden cameras, the show captures how ordinary people react when put on the spot and faced with a painful dilemma of “What to do.” In most cases, the situations usually involve doing what you feel is the “right thing” versus doing nothing at all.
The program made me think of a particular wine dilemma that I was faced with recently.
Imagine this scenario – You’re in a rush one Sunday afternoon to get home to watch your favorite NFL team play. You’ve prepared for the big game: a few friends, good food, beer, remote control, and the kids are occupied so they won’t be flipping the channel to Suite Life On Deck…but wait!! You realize that you forgot to pick up wine to go with the dinner you’ve planned for after the game. Before you can become a total couch potato for the next three hours, you are forced to make one quick pit stop to pick up that “perfect” bottle of wine.
In a desperate attempt to not miss the opening kick-off, you stop at the closest (not necessarily the best) wine & spirits shop that you can find, and make a b-line for the cold box to select the best possible chilled Chardonnay for under 20 bucks. No time for looking through the racks! You’re feeling pretty confident about the Chardonnay that you’ve just selected because it has a familiar name that has been “reliable” in the past, not to mention you’ve had it plenty of times and been pleased with it. You walk out of the store feeling like a champ, with enough time to spare to get home to plop yourself down in front of the tube.
Now fast forward to dinner:
You’re all standing around the dinner table high-fiving, chest bumping, and talking about who your team is going to spank next Sunday when you decide it’s time to pop open that “reliable” bottle of Chardonnay. However, as soon as you begin pouring said Chardonnay – you say to yourself, “Boy, my reliable Chardonnay sure has a funny looking color to it?!”
You check the date and it reads, “2004”. You then ask yourself, “Is a 2004, under $20 Chardonnay considered old?” You’re not really sure because, as we all know, wine doesn’t come with an expiration date – at least not stamped on it! After pouring the wine into the glass and really taking notice of its deep golden (nearly amber!) color you still decide, against your better judgment, to take the plunge. It only takes one sip for you to start slapping yourself a few times for being such a fool and purchasing what seems to be an “Over-the-Hill” Chardonnay. I know there’s a myriad of other reasons why oxidation had ruined an otherwise solid bottle of white wine, but we’re going to stick with “over-the-hill” assumption for the next exercise.
Ok – so this isn’t exactly a moral dilemma, but what would you do in this particular situation?
A. Continue to drink the wine even though it could have you doubled over, crying for your Mommy, and possibly have you miss work on Monday?
B. Pour it down the kitchen drain, then run back out (if a store is still open) to get a replacement bottle?
C. Re-cork the wine, pour yourself a glass of water , and return it for a refund the next day?
What a quandary!