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One week ago me and my housemates decided to throw a house party for one of my housemate's friends who were leaving to Europe to work on his graduate school thesis in an European university.
The house was full. We had people inviting other people in that we hadn't even met before. The music was loud and the drinks were in an "each person brings its own" kinda deal but by the end of the party that law was totally gone, since people were drinking and sharing each others drinks without any sense of embarrassment or regret. It was like an all you can eat buffet but in a hippie community where everyone could share each others things without any sense of property.
Like in every house party, the following day feels like hell itself opened its guts and pulled you inside of it. Besides the hangover you have to deal with broken glass, used plastic cups, piss and puke stains, salt everywhere on the carpet... in other words a complete hell on earth. I woke my roommates up and pushed them into cleaning. Not long after we started, I found a bottle of wine. A black bottle with surprisingly discreet scriptures on it that looked like French to me. At least the name Chateau was familiar to me and I could describe it being French if I was ever asked to guess where that name came from. There was also a year written on the label. I am far from being a Sommelier but one thing I know: the older the wine the better and more expensive it is. That wine said 1995 on the label that means It was 23 years old. That wine was older than one of my roommates and if his time was worth it a minimum wage per hour than that wine was definitely more expensive than what he makes in a month.
After the whole clean up torture I showed my roommates the bottle of wine. They were also surprised how anyone could have left an unopened bottle of wine just laying there at the corner of the house and how amazing was the fact that that bottle of wine had survived the alcohol sucking vampires from that party. One of my roommates decided to google the bottle after my proud and classy explanation of how old the wine was being probably worth good money due its age. A quick search online showed that the wine alone cost half of what I make in a month's work! We were shocked.
Obviously the wine's owner was someone from the party. We asked my friend's friend (the one leaving to Europe) if he knew anyone who left a bottle of wine in our house. He was unaware of any forgetful alcoholic party member from the previous night. We couldn't do much besides waiting. Even if we would call each and every person we knew that came to the party and be like, "Hey, did you forget a 600 dollar bottle of wine here last night?" I am pretty sure some people would't be very honest about it. In this case it's like finding money in the subway. If you didn't see the money falling off someone's pocket, wallet, or purse don't go asking around. People just won't be honest in this case.
We decided to wait for a few days. A week went by and our mysterious Sommelier didn't show up. We then decided to drink it. At first, I was a little reluctant due how expensive the wine was but we agreed this was once in a life time opportunity and moved forward with the plan. We cracked the bottle open and had a little taste of what we thought it would be a scarlet ambrosia but in plastic disposable cups.
The first taste was awkwardly weird. I felt like I was sipping grape juice soaked in carbon paper. It was weak at first just to knock you out with a bitter taste of undistinguished spices. A dense and earthy aftertaste hits you a few seconds after you swallow it like hitting your pinky toe on the bed's frame: the pain is so acute that you only start feeling it after a few seconds.
We were having fun. We were holding the cups with our pinky finger extended, trying to impersonate a sophisticated English (or French) drinker. We were also saying words in English with French accents. Bunch of retarded morons.
We decided to have some food with it. We came to the agreement that we couldn't have a fine wine like that without trying to be at least a little classy. For some reason I've always associated rich people savoring expensive wine having delicacies like caviar or foie gras. Maybe we could have some cheese or salami to help with the after taste between sips. We had nothing. The only thing we could find were leftovers of a half eaten pizza from 2 nights before. We decided to leave our elegant side behind and went forward with the pizza. Turns out having cheap pizza with expensive wine was the most ambiguous nourishment act I have ever had in my entire life.
Not only was I confused but also feeling guilty of having such an expensive wine with left over pepperoni pizza, but the taste hadn't changed. The taste reminded me of my sad Sundays having fridge pizza with 12 dollar wines for brunch while listening to Radiohead. However, the sole act of having an expensive wine in such a deplorable way was getting under my skin. After all, what's the point of drinking such an expensive wine? The taste wasn't special. The point relied only on the act of having fun with my roommates, pretending to be a rich wine connoisseur. I soon realized how much of a shallow purpose sophisticated items were sold to. The aggregated value of an item like that 600 dollar wine was only to make a pretentious display of an economical or social power most of us do not have. It is only meant to state the status of someone in a higher social rank, segregating the gods from the poor mortals. It is only meant to keep an status-quo of power and dominance.
Any wine could have done the job. We had more fun with my roommate's impersonations of Gordon Ramsay than with the taste of the wine itself. I could have placed another label from a cheap 12 dollar grocery store wine and we never have noticed the difference. Apart from that I can say that I had a good dose of decadent glamour that night, knowing that I wasted a 600 dollar wine with cheap pizza but to be honest I don't care a bit.