Friday, December 14, 2012

Red Flags (In A Good Way)

It's weird. When I'm in the house I prefer beer, but when I'm on the road I prefer wine. I've had every generic red wine in each airport bar, off the room service menu, or in the hipster college town eatery.

So, much like when I watch the production of live sports events on TV I'm desensitized. A glass of wine has got to be exceptional or awful to get my attention these days. Which is why I've been so pleasantly surprised twice in the last 48 hours.

First in the Hyatt Place in Sugar Land, Texas. It wasn't even a bar, more like an upgraded pantry. I asked what reds they had seeing if they even offered Pinot Noir. I was sure I'd get a glass of Mirassou like I've had a thousand times. Sure enough she reaches up on a shelf and pulls down a Hangtime from Marlborough, New Zealand. Best glass of Pinot I've had in a while and it was only $7.

Then, surprisingly enough, the "house" red on my United Express flight from Houston to Raleigh was an Australian Fox Grove Shiraz/Cabernet blend. The bottle retails at $12.50 according to the website, but it really seemed a lot bolder than that.

Maybe I was caught off guard by these two wines since my expectations had become so low. But it was also where I received them. So now the bar has been raised in mid-level hotels and on commuter jets, and thus the bar has been raised at the bar as well.

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