free run juice

prime time

When you’re really into tasting a wine, you need to have an appropriate glass. The glass doesn’t have to be expensive or even necessarily the proper shape (though obsessives will argue this). It just boils down to the glass having been primed. This basically just means that it’s been “washed” with wine to take out any dust, cleansing agents or anything else that may have been in the glass before you pour your wine into it.

In the Blind Tasting class I’m taking, we go through 6-8 wines per night. The other night I had four glasses out, and only two had been poured into and soon were empty. But when the third wine came around, it was poured into the same two glasses that had been used. I was told this was because they’d been “primed.” It’s sort of like rinsing your mouth out with lesser wine before you take a sip of serious wine.

You can think about this in two ways:

BAD WAY: Once I was at Babbo and the sommelier took the expensive wine we ordered, poured a little bit into our glasses to “wash” them, threw out that “washing” wine and then poured the rest of the wine into the glasses. I was like, Um, wash out your glasses better and don’t throw out anything I just paid for! Did they take some of the sauce from my meal and wipe off the plate before serving it? No. If I’m paying a hundy+ for a bottle of wine, it makes me want to cry when I see someone throw some of it out before I even get to taste it.

GOOD WAY: When you’re dating someone, you want them to have a little experience. You don’t want them to be so squeaky clean and new. They should have some prior involvement that will hopefully let them show their best side possible, ready to present themselves as best they can. Once I thought about that, I got “priming” a glass. I still don’t like thinking about wasting wine I paid twice the store price for in a restaurant, but if someone thinks it’ll ensure I’m getting the best date possible with a wine, go for it.

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