Few issues of wine etiquette seem to cause as much consternation as the increasingly common practice of a sommelier taking a small sip of wine, usually unbidden, to test for soundness. Diners often are surprised to learn that their bottle has in effect been shared with the restaurant, even if it’s just the smallest amount.
- When the First Sip Is the Sommelier’s, Not Yours
The physical risks of this lifestyle are obvious. Three years ago in Slate, Jason Fagone, the author of Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream, recounted strokes, jaw injuries, choking deaths, fatal water intoxications, and other eating-contest tragedies. "Thanks to increasing prize money and media exposure, there's incentive now for competitive eaters to challenge the physical limits of the body," Fagone observed. They're "stretching their stomachs with huge volumes of chugged liquid," inducing digestive paralysis and risking "gastric rupture." A study published that year cautioned that "professional speed eaters eventually may develop morbid obesity, profound gastroparesis, intractable nausea and vomiting." Even MLE warns prospective contestants of the sport's "inherent dangers and risks."
- Deep Throat: The depravity of Major League Eating.
North Pond in Chicago, singled out by Epicurious.com as one of the Top 10 "farm-to-table" restaurants in America, prides itself on serving only domestic craft beers, but aside from a couple of ice wines from Michigan set aside for after-dinner sipping, its lengthy wine list is a fairly predictable document, studded as it is with familiar European and California varietals.
Why is it that the lust for local stops short when it comes to local and regional wines?
- The Locavore Wine Hypocrisy