Most common holiday accidents

Yesterday, I received the following message in my email inbox and this was one of the images attached to it. Please don't let this happen to you this holiday season.

From: "Win"
Subject: X'mas feast 2006
To:"Anna Xu", "AM Ferrara", "Vera", "Huy Duong", "David Chang", "Jason Ang", "Elsa", "Saif Husain", "Zeina", "Marcus Gilliam"

Here are some pics from yesterday evening!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season...

winnie lai david chang

Notice how the word safe seems to be emphasized in the context of this particular photo. Don't let yourself be a victim. This image could've been prevented. Avoid posing for photos behind foreshortened bottles of wine. It's Christmas folks, but that Château Grand Launay Côtes-de-Bourg 2001 is no toy. Please pose with it carefully!

That forshortened bottle of wine, by the way, was a standard 750-millilitre bottle, not the Methuselah that it looks like from the viewers' perspective. Orient yourself with the wine bottle size scale here.

biblical names of giant bottle sizes
Our Grand Launay must've seemed bigger than it was. Nearing dinner's end we were daunted by the prospects of opening it and didn't end up tasting it. Hopefully next year we will get a second chance at it. Maybe when no one mindlessly lets it wander between a photo-op and the camera lens.


But this dinner was not all tales of disaster and regret. The theme was our favourite wine discoveries of the year. We tasted wines (in standard-sized bottles) from Rodney Strong, Château Cabrières and Taltarni Vineyards, and I thought that they are were really good, near-perfect selections for the occasion.
The Chardonnay had palpable wood, and though my fellow diner thought it was slightly tainted by the cork, I quite enjoyed it.

The Cabrières and Taltarni wines created an amazing transition that I wouldn't have expected. They have similar depth, richness and are made in the same international style with fine tannins and well-integrated oak. You can tell the Cabernet and Merlot grapes were from a cool-climate region though, and next time I would reverse the order and serve the Cabrières second. It's a smoky, savoury Syrah with less perky acid and fruit and it eases you nicely into dessert.

But most importantly, the man pictured above has recovered and will attend holiday to come dinners featuring many more discovery wines.