Vail Daily letter: By the glass | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: By the glass

Otto Wiest
Vail, CO, Colorado

Wherever you go — north or east, south or west — if you are welcome, then people will offer you a drink.

A simple drink is the gesture of welcome all over the world.

Last summer I was in a small Greek restaurant and ordered a bottle of white wine. I paid about $4 for a bottle of excellent wine. I asked the waiter why it was so inexpensive, and he told me that the owner had organized a special delivery from a vineyard and he would be proud to offer his guests a excellent wine for a very low price.

Last fall I came back to Vail and ordered in a small restaurant for lunch some pasta and a glass of red wine.

Because the glass was quite empty, I ordered later on a second glass. I’m from Europe, and I am used to getting a full glass when I order wine. To talk about “bouquet” or “gourmet style” as a reason for a poorly filled glass of a simple California Merlot is pretty ridiculous.

When I paid the bill, I was quite amazed to see that my pasta was $9.50 and the wine was $18. That is about three times more for the wine then we pay for the California Merlot somewhere in Europe. In other words, I got about half the quantity for twice the price.

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Europe has an old wine tradition and there you generally pay $5-$6 for a glass of normal California wine. The correct quantity is marked on the glass and carefully watched.

In Vail, it seems to be normal now to pay $9-$10 for more or less half a glass. That’s quite amazing, as a whole bottle of Merlot liquor store costs about $10.

It’s a good reason to drink the healthy Vail water instead of wine.

But what kind of impressions will Vail guests get? Is this the gesture of a friendly welcome and a friendly drink?

I am now back in Germany, and instead of ordering Water, I enjoy a full glass of wine again. Maybe I am too tight, but a Merlot for a fair price seems to taste better.

Otto Wiest