So, in general, the wine industry is pretty well behaved. We play nice at events, are polite about others’ wines and enter into discussion only when appropriate. So, when we are not in front of the buying public, and generally in a calm tone allowing for interaction and discussion.
Until the other night. When a winemaker who did not know me, nor the wines I was representing, became aggressive.
He interrupted a conversation, stabbed his fingers at me demanding I look at the wine in his glass and agree with him that it was faulty.
I refused. I suggested that if he did not enjoy the wine, that was absolutely fine. We all have different taste buds and requirements of our wines but his voice and approach got louder.
There were other consumers around. People who were enjoying the wines I was pouring.
I refused to engage and ended up abandoning my post at the bar with a short statement to the effect that we could argue until the end of time but this was not the place and we were unlikely to come to an agreement anyway.
He doesn’t know me. I don’t expect him to know me. I, however, know him.
And a copy of this will be sent to him.
I found his behaviour to be boorish and unnecessary, impolite and demeaning. To behave this way in front of others? Highly disrespectful.
I expect no response. His approach and demeanour was dismissive and aggressive.
The great thing about wine is its diversity. This guy? Poster child for a different kind of winemaking. Which has its place.
But not in my world.
Grow up, little man.