You’re ready to pull out your wallet and shatter the lid on what you typically spend for a bottle of wine. You’ve picked the special occasion worthy of breaking the bank and you love the idea of finally experiencing a world-class bottle. But for all the promise, for all the hype, and for all the anticipation, you just can’t pull the trigger on the purchase because you fear the Greasy Grosshauser Effect. The Greasy Grosshauser Effect happens when something falls way short of its huge expectations. (For one example of the GGE, Google “Herschel Walker trade”). The name stems from a kid in my elementary school: Greasy wore his dad’s clothes by the age of eleven and could remove lug nuts from cars with his bare hands. His older brothers and sisters each held a state record or two in various sports.
The problem with Greasy was that for all his athletic potential, he had the coordination of a giraffe in a potato sack race and the killer instinct of a sponge on Quaaludes. In addition, after half a lap around the track, Greasy was easily distracted by pretty butterflies. Coaches and teammates could only shake their heads.
Expensive wines can burn you with the GGE too. Nothing is more frustrating than dropping a huge bundle of cash on a bottle of wine only to have it leave you shaking your head like you just watched it miss a layup. Although some brands have a stellar reputation and history, none are immune to making a bad bottle on occasion. For that reason I have compiled a short list of high-end, special occasion wines that leave me feeling like a winner and are worthy of their high-end price.
Rombauer 2007, Chardonnay ($32.99): The creaminess in this wine creates a perfect pairing with Brie cheese. Just try to calculate the points you would earn by having them waiting for your husband/wife after work.
Domaine Serene 2005, Evenstad Pinot Noir ($59.99): Sour cherries, wet earth and cigar box linger throughout a long finish. Wet earth? Yes, in this wine it’s delicious.
Continuum 2005, Cabernet Sauvignon ($125.99): After the Robert Mondavi brand was bought out by a huge conglomerate, the family now runs the Continuum Winery. Balance is the key word here. Cherries, red fruit, cola, and oak are delivered on a silk plate. A big investment, yes, but still not as much as popcorn and candy for the kids at the theater.