As it goes in every profession, in the wine business, we have our fair share of embarrassing moments.
Personally, I can remember my first time with the Rabbit, a "heavy duty machinery" corkscrew that I notice sitting in a lot of womens' kitchens; I was at a friend's house and obviously, I brought some wine. When I asked for a corkscrew, she pointed at a stainless steel case on the counter, and there it was - the Rabbit (my guess is that it's called as such for the look of it's handles, which comprise a crude representation of rabbit's ears).
So, I put it on top of the bottle and with a firm movement I went back and forth like I was playing a slot machine.
The cork was magically gone - and not just from the neck of the bottle, but also from the opener. I looked on the floor and on the counter, under everything in the kitchen... there was no trace of it. This, of course, was because I had pushed the cork into the bottle instead of pulling it out. I discovered the embarrassing misfortune when I tried to pour with little to no success, inducing my friend to raucous laughter. I remembered about that episode last night when my friend Piers, in an attempt to re-cork a magnum, used a regular bottle cork, and watched it easily drop into the bottle.
Tastings are also places prone to embarrassments. I remember a guy that said something really funny while one of us had just sipped from his glass, and watching the unfortunate man's eyes open wide in the attempt to not laugh, then seeing the red wine coming out of his nose. A particularly unpleasant but highly comical scenario. Still in the tasting department, I have to mention another slip-up; me mistaking the Sella & Mosca Tanca Farra, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cannonau from Sardegna, for an American Pinot Noir during a dinner with Dino Tantawi of Vignaioli Selection, and Chris Cannon of L'Impero. Oops.
There are also tasting goofs that occur more frequently, and are of a more pedestrian nature... there's just nothing you can do to prevent them. For instance - numerous times I've swallowed into the wrong canal and started to cough like there was no tomorrow, while trying to give my feedback under the embarrassed and often concerned look of my interlocutor. Wine and windpipe do not mix.
I think I can go on for a while in this department being that I haven't mentioned any embarrassing moments related to excessive consumption, but I would like to hear your experiences, as well.
Buona Bevuta a Tutti