Before I start, let me say this: please go to more wines tastings. Seriously. I’m about to get profoundly sarcastic, but I am being sincere here. Tasting is the only way to learn. Please go to more wine tastings.
That being said, here are my top 10 ways to make sure the person pouring for you hates you.
1) Be picky. Particularly when the tasting is free, and in a public place, and even more so when there are a lot of people waiting to taste. Insist on descriptions of the wines before you allow them to be poured into your glass.
2) Know one thing about wine, and keep bringing the conversation back to that. Have you been to Sonoma and visited wineries there? Definitely use the fact that I’m pouring German Riesling as an opportunity to tell that story then.
3) Tell me how much to pour. This one works both ways. If you’re concerned that the 1.5 ounce pours I’m giving out are going to get you too tipsy, definitely tell me when to stop. Even better, raise your glass quickly and urgently, allowing me to spill on the bar. Definitely do not use the dump bucket that is provided explicitly for discarding excess wine. If you feel that I’m not giving you enough wine for you to get day-drunk for free, definitely say so, and the louder the better. Maybe wink at me, because we are definitely sharing a joke here, and I definitely do not think you’re a boorish asshole.
4) Do not look at me. Seriously. I am not a person, and you definitely shouldn’t treat me like one. When I say hello, that is your cue to push your glass in my face and say “Cabernet”. You get extra points if none of the wines I’m pouring are Cabernet.
5) Be picky. Again. ESPECIALLY when the tasting is free. And definitely refuse to taste anything you don’t already know you like, because the point of this tasting is definitely not to introduce people to new things.
6) Don’t listen. Do not. Not under any circumstances should you pay attention to anything I say. Make me repeat myself.
7) Be vague. Don’t ask specific questions, no matter what. Do your best to make me wonder if you even speak English.
8) Tell me you don’t drink red wines because you are allergic to sulfites.
9) If you are a man, act like any wine that isn’t red is for women, and you don’t drink woman wine because women are weak and stupid. Bonus points if your wife is right next to you.
10) Make sure I know you know more than me about wine. Definitely do not acknowledge that this is my actual job that I do full time, and any time I say anything that is completely over your head, bring the conversation back to all the times you’ve been to wine country. Especially if you’re from California. Please tell me about how living in California makes you a wine expert. Please.