I was recently perusing a new post, over at the always awesome The Food and Wine Hedonist, that was discussing the trouble with coffee math – the algorithm needed to factor six ounce coffee can directions into an eight ounce measuring cup and a fourteen ounce mug. As a non-coffee drinker (don’t be fooled by my Yelp check-ins), I was immediately struck by how the author’s plight with coffee mirrored my own mathematical recurring nightmare with wine. The issue is this: in every scenario, either wine gets wasted – or I do.
The other night I was at a friend’s for a spaghetti dinner. This math is a breeze:
Equation 1) Italian food = red wine
Thus, she opened a bottle of cab for the three of us. We each enjoyed our pasta and meatballs with a standard five ounce pour. Now here’s where the calculation becomes complex:
Equation 2) 1 bottle = 750 ML = 25 ounces = 5 glasses/3 people = awkward
Our hostess is now faced with the classic wine dilemma – does she attempt to balance the remaining ten ounces amongst us? Does she open another bottle knowing the probability for a remainder is high? Does she switch to merlot? Yes.
I had a similar issue at this year’s Christmas party. The theme was White Christmas, so naturally, I had a few bottles of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in keeping with the décor. However, since many of my friends prefer red, I was faced with a new quandary – no common denominator:
Equation 3) 16 party guests + 10 bottles of wine in 5 varietals = 5 half-spent bottles at party’s end
While the solve for leftover wine at home isn’t complicated (drinking, cooking, drinking while cooking), restaurant servings pose an opposing predicament – undisclosed serving sizes. While it’s appropriate to ask a scotch its age, it’s never polite to ask a wine its cup size. With goblet-esque glasses and deceiving happy hour pricing, you’ve often downed a five ounce serving before you finish the second and third glasses of your “flight.” Toss in a free corkage promotion and things just don’t add up:
Equation 4) (X)ounces x 2 glasses + tip + tax = $12 = another round
While my wallet may be able to afford another glass, my head unwisely elects not to solve for X.
Whether the riddle is eight hot dog buns and ten hotdogs, six ounces of coffee and a fourteen ounce mug, or one bottle of Chardonnay and three red drinkers, the joke, it appears, is on us. I may forever be in search of the perfect pour, but in the meantime, Jules on Cougar Town has the right idea – get a wine glass (or pitcher or vase or bucket) that holds an entire bottle and don’t let it out of your sight.
Disclaimer: 17 ounces of wine were harmed in the writing of the post.