White Zinfandel is Fancy

White Zinfandel is Fancy

Two women are sitting at Booth 3, presumably on a “Girls Night Out.” Under the misleading idea that wearing all black would be slimming and that sequins class things up, it is clear that these girls are ready to party.

“Hello, ladies. Can I get you anything to drink tonight? A Pear Cosmo? Or maybe a glass of wine?”

‘We were thinking of ordering a bottle of wine, actually but we don’t usually order a whole bottle. What do you suggest?” one of them asks.

I cringe at the question because I am the first to admit my lack of wine knowledge. In the types of restaurants I usually punch in at, bottles of wine are not a top seller. Seven years of serving breakfast and lunch didn’t really require me to know a lot about bottles of wine.

“Well, would you like red or white?” I ask.

“What’s the difference?”

I do a mental face palm and realize that even though I grew up drinking Boone’s Berry Farm and California Coolers, I am practically a sommelier compared to these girls.

“Red is served room temperature and white is served cold,” seems to satisfy their quest for wine knowledge.

The ladies hem and haw trying to decide what to get when they finally ask me the most important question that anyone who is ordering a bottle of wine can ask:

“Can we get a taste of the White Zinfandel?”

A taste of the White Zinfandel? What are you tasting it for, to see if it’s tastes like ass? I can tell you right now, it does. It will taste like Mr. Kool-Aid took a piss inside a wine bottle and then shit out a couple of Splendas. It will taste like a raspberry Fla-vor-Ice that was in the freezer too long and got a mean case of freezer burn and then sat outside in the sun for two days. It will taste as bad as your make-up looks.

“Absolutely, I will be right back with a taste of our finest White Zinfandel.”

I return moments later with two glasses. It would have been sooner, but the bartender had to dig deep into the reach-in to find a bottle of our finest White Zinfandel. It was behind the whipped cream, the huge jar of olives and an old container of yogurt that the hostess had left in there about two weeks earlier.

I place the glasses before the ladies who each pick one up and sniff inside giving their olfactory senses a a workout trying to decipher between a “subtle floral aroma” and “nasty ass whiff of Hawaiian Fruit Punch.”

They swirl the wine around in their glasses and hold it up to the light to see if it “has legs.” Finally, they let it wash over their taste buds and I await their reaction.

“Hmmm, I think I like it, what do you think?” one says to the other.

“It tastes really good. That is a very nice bottle of wine. I say we go for it.”

They do indeed “go for it” spending a whopping $28 for a bottle of our finest White Zinfandel. They pair it with a hummus plate and spinach artichoke dip, because these bitches are fancy like that.

When they are done, the bottle is empty and they tell me how much they loved the wine. I can’t really judge because I have been known to drink wine out of a box, champagne out of a can and a margarita out of a plastic to-go cup on the Q32 bus. What I can do though is write a blog post about the two nice ladies at Booth 3 who think that a bottle of White Zinfandel is a sophisticated night on the town.

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37 Responses to “White Zinfandel is Fancy”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Champagne out of a can? I hope it wasn't a gift for your wedding…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I also serve in a diner, and also lack wine knowledge. I can, however, tell you that White Zin is a blush wine. I had a woman in my section accuse me of bringing her the wrong wine last week because her white zin wasn't white like her friends pinot griego (did I spell that right?) was. She said the name was "missleading". If you're going to order wine at a diner, know what the heck you're ordering, cause all I know is white (pinot & chardonay), blush (white zin) and red (shriaz & merlot).

  3. Taryn says:

    LOL! It was probably a bottle of Sutter Home, right? Super high-class ;-)

  4. Georgette says:

    The training bra of wines…

  5. Freakin' hilarious. I love you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very funny…as a server I am happy when anyone orders a bottle of wine….even if it is White Zinfandel….pinkys up!

  7. bet these were "little old ladies", right?none of this white zin shit for me; pinot grigio, chardonnay, or merlot does me just fine. in fact, I raise a glass of merlot to you right now, kind sir!(I did drink boone's farm strawberry in college; just a step above ripple or thunderbird.)

  8. Micah R says:

    I am a Certified Sommelier and I love White Zin…I do not drink it but it is the marijuana of the wine world. The "gateway wine" if you will. People start with White Zin, move onto Riesling and before you know it they are main-lining big Rhone wines. Any wine that gets people into and interested in wine is good by me…

  9. Micah R is exactly right! The "gateway wine" – hilarious! Sure did drink a lot of it back in the day but, as Oprah says, when you know better, you do better. (and I'm NOT an Oprah fan but I do enjoy this quote!)

  10. I am fairly educated on wine, and I am still a fan of. Nice oaky Riesling above anything else. Besides the bubbly. I <3 Prosecco more than anything.

  11. Devon says:

    I once had a table of some classy ladies who got offended, OFFENDED when we I told them that we did not offer any white zinfandel selections. "oh you need to get some on your list…RIGHT AWAY". yes really. It took all my strength to maintain my composure.

  12. Tracy says:

    28 dollars is 23 dollars too much… I had to turn in some receipts for reimbursement. I forgot that I had bought a bottle of WZ and didn't mark through it. The bookkeeper asked if I needed the wine for a lab or something and I was embarrassed because the wine cost five dollars and I had bought it at Walgreens. Staying Classy…

  13. Anonymous says:

    I remember taking my first wine order, this girl at a table in the back ordered White Zinfandel. How excited was I! To me, at the time (I was 18) she was the coolest lady to ever walk in the restaurant. I even made my first legal drink order after i turned 21 a fine glass of White Zinfandel!

  14. Becky R says:

    Friends don't let friends drink White Zinfandel.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I had a table that ordered two glasses of zinfandel. I worked in a fancy restaurant so I figured they knew what they were ordering. When I brought out red wine they were horrified. They had never heard of zinfandel and had assumed they were ordering white zin. Luckily I was able to scrounge up some ancient white zin that had probably been sitting in the refrigerator since the Reagan administration. I love your blog. I crack up every time I look at it. (which is just about every day!)

  16. D Dalton says:

    I love your blogs! Totally crack me up! And for the record, I'm a box drinking White Zinfandel kind of gal. Obviously not a wine connosouir (sp?) but now know why I get 'a look' when I order a glass at a high end restaurant. I'm actually ok with that! =)

  17. sparky01gt says:

    I love the "can we try a taste of the wine"? Because a $7 glass is way too big of an investment to just go in blindly. I also love when its something like Kendall Jackson they want to try…how can you possibly be a wine drinker and not know if you like KJ or not??

  18. Anonymous says:

    I'm pretty sure that's the exact same Kool-Aid Man image that I used in my college speech class presentation: "How To Make Wine" (the ghetto way)

  19. A reduction of white zinfandel does make a tasty addition to the braising sauce from a nice brisket. Seriously.

  20. "tastes like ass" …What if you've never tasted ass? You might like it!

  21. JoeinVegas says:

    Ah yes, Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill – such a fine elixir.

  22. sally says:

    I sometimes wish for simpler times–when white zin was the height of sophistication. Hell, I remember when Blue Nun and Lancers were considered fancy-pants wine. We used to save the Lancers bottles and use them as vases. Oh, the good old days…

  23. servethis says:

    At my restaurant we serve house wines in kool aid pitchers so white zin does look like the pink mr kool aid. Always sooooo classy

  24. servethis says:

    At my restaurant we serve house wines in kool aid pitchers so white zin does look like the pink mr kool aid. Always sooooo classy

  25. Mae says:

    White Zin, hummus, artichoke dip…sounds like my kind of night! Well I’d actually prefer a Moscato. But the only thing missing in this scenario from my last Saturday night is a vicious game of Settlers of Catan. That’s weekends in WI in the dead of winter!

  26. Bunny W says:

    You know when you have acid reflux and it regurgitates up into your mouth? Like a pukey burp? That’s what White Zin tasted like to me. Loved the Kool Aid man piss analogy though!

  27. Emily says:

    Stinky Pinky!

  28. Jenny says:

    We have White Zinfandel at our sleazy pub. It’s pretty awful as you say but lots of people order it because it’s the cheapest. Whenever someone orders it I think of you Bitchy. xD

  29. Kathy Bishop says:

    I cut my teeth on Mateus Rose back in the day. Definitely a “gateway wine” haha. Now where did I hide that bottle of Absolut…

  30. Simon says:

    Moscato? Way too sweet for me. I luvs me a good red sangria during the warm weather.

  31. Michekke says:

    I like white zinfadel!! :)It is a blush wine like someone mentioned above.
    I like Moscato also.
    I like sweet things!

  32. B says:

    Hahaha my mom drinks white zin almost exclusively, but she at least knows where she stands. She calls it “baby girl wine”, haha ;-)

  33. Jeanann says:

    Even the idea of white zin makes me ill. Seriously, I just read the title and got nauseated. Your writing is worth it, though.

  34. Rita Novak says:

    This story NEVER gets old!!! lmao… I neither have the wine exp or knowledge.. and for me.. If they ask what I would choose… I let the names speak for themselves… .. how about a “Menage à Trois” and they come in both a Red and a White!!! Leaves the un..educated scratching their heads!! I always walk away with a smile!!!

  35. Andreas says:

    I worked at a restaurant that didn’t have white zin on the menu. I took delight when someone ordered it by saying “sorry ma’am, we’re beer an wine only”.

  36. megan says:

    I would like to say that I normally find your posts funny and clever. Being a former server of 10 years myself, I am normally completely on your side. But for some reason, this one just rubbed me the wrong way. Yes, I am an actual wine snob and I truly think White Zin is swill. With that being said everyone is different and if these two ladies order swill, are generally decent customers, and leave you a decent tip… well then who cares? Why make fun of them? It just seemed like a mean spirited story for nothing more than a couple of women who don’t know anything about wine or what is “good” or “appropriate” in the wine world. That is not the end of the world.

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