On Saturday night, I had a "first" in my wine career. For the first time, I tried a wine that was rated a perfect 100 points by a wine critic. My friend Tony just found out that he and his wife will be moving to Houston, to accept a job that he has wanted for a while. Naturally, this was a bittersweet cause for celebration. Another friend that happens to be of financial means decided to order a 2002 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon from the cellar at 33 Wine Bar. I don't know what he paid for it, but it was a lot. Current pricing on wine-searcher.com starts at $330/bottle, if you can find it.
I pictured my first time trying a 100 point wine as having an out-of-body experience. I don't know if I expected an angel riding a unicorn to come through and give me a foot massage while I swirled the nectar of the gods in a gold-plated glass or something, but it didn't happen. Now, don't get me wrong, the wine was good. It was damn good. The cedar and cigar-box note that was in the nose was almost tangible, and I could only describe the wine as "sexy" to those around us. However, it just wasn't the life-altering experience that other wine geeks talk about. I guess this is all to say that I really confirmed that you should only put a little stock in wine ratings. They are an objective number put onto a subjective matter. In other words, one one particular day, one particular person thought that this wine was the "perfect example" of Napa Valley Cabernet. On Saturday, I personally didn't.
You know what deserved the 100 points? The evening. This was one of those times where there were about a dozen of us sitting around a table, everyone laughing and celebrating with our buddy that is going to leave us. Great wine was poured, old jokes were rehashed, new stories were told. The funny thing is, we could have been drinking $6 bottles of Aussie Shiraz with dancing koalas on the label, and it would have been just as fun.
That, my friends, is unicorn worthy.