Yes, it would be quite an ego stroke to be congratulated by the clerk for picking out something extraordinary — but I donâ€™t want that, I just want a glass of wine while cooking dinner. Iâ€™m not buying the $50 bottle of 2007 Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignon.
He canâ€™t help it; most people (me included) donâ€™t know much about wine. A good liquor store clerk helps the customer not make a mistake — especially if itâ€™s for a special occasion or theyâ€™re presenting it as a gift. You donâ€™t want them walking away with something awful.
But wine in America has been elevated to the rarefied strata of class and sophistication — at the expense of ordinary table wine. The Europeans seem to understand this better, that you have the everyday wine and the special wine.
No, I wouldn’t bring a 1.5 liter bottle of Yellow Tail that cost $11 as a housewarming gift, but Iâ€™ll certainly quaffÂ it while chopping up garlic.
On the other hand, itâ€™s always worth spending a few extra bucks for good beer. And I wouldnâ€™t look down on somebody with a case of Keystone in their shopping cart, just someone who puts ice in it.