Pre-COVID—will that become a common period designation?—I regularly attended the free wine tastings at a local liquor store. (For non-Pennsylvania residents, I must explain that the distribution of liquor is socialized in this state. Until recently, this was true of wine as well. All liquor/wine stores are run by the state.) My visits provided an opportunity to sample wines and to occasionally buy bottles of those I found satisfying. Perhaps even more importantly, it was an opportunity to socialize with friends who also enjoyed wine. The liquor store was my version of Cheers. The cast of characters was not quite as colorful as those of the TV show, but we had our standouts. Unsurprisingly, wine tastings were discontinued when the COVID pandemic hit the country.
|Logo from the television show|
As soon as he saw me sit down at the counter, Matt, the local wine expert and server for the tastings, told me that he could not pour wine into my glass. This was apparently a new regulation handed down from on high. I was incensed. I was sure that few if any patrons in Pennsylvania brought their own glasses to wine tastings and wondered if the regulation was directed at me personally. Matt assured me that he had nothing to do with the new rule, and neither of us could imagine a rationale behind it.
The reason for bringing my own wine glass, of course, is to better see the wine’s color and to be able to swish the liquid around and better perceive its aroma. One cannot really do these things in a plastic cup that holds 50 ml. or so.
Once I recovered from my shock, however, I recognized the obvious workaround. Matt poured the wine into a plastic cup, and I poured the cup into my wine glass. Everyone was happy.