I was out this weekend at a local “desserterie” after dinner for some, you guessed it, dessert. My friend and I agreed to split a chocolate fondue and a dessert wine flight – a tasting portion each of Sauvignon Blanc, Gewirtztraminer, and Port.
When the wines arrived it was immediately apparent that there was about half as much Port as each of the others. Before we could cock an eyebrow, the waitress helpfully explained:
We ran out of Port so I gave you more of the other two.
Now we all know that we came for the dessert, not for the wine. And It’s very possible our waitress was not even old enough to drink. But still.
Who thinks that extra Sauvignon Blanc and Gewirtztraminer make up for a shortage of Port? I’m not a big fan of dessert wines in general or Port in particular, but the Port was clearly the finale of the sequenced flight. If they’re down to the last lobster and it’s missing a claw, do they bring more mashed potatoes and think that’s going to make it OK? If you buy a suit and the jacket doesn’t fit, does an extra pair of pants improve your situation?
Additionally, I’m wondering how is it that a restaurant can end up with just two ounces of Port and no backup bottle? Port isn’t exactly perishable. What sick puppy poured the last full serving and put the near-empty bottle back without ordering more? That’s the sort of thing that happens with shared fridges in college – if you finish the milk, you’re responsible for disposing of the carton and buying more, so you leave just a scintilla of milk and put the container back.
I’m also wondering if you really want the last drop of Port from the bottle, or if you want to advertise to your customer that you’ve served the last drop. We all know that sediment happens…
Now, I have to give the establishment some credit here because we were given an additional full (tasting) glass of some other Port at no charge when we complained, even though that Port was on the warm side. And the fondue was choctacular and free of complication, served in an asymmetrical ramekin atop a tea light with long-handled duelling forks, white cake, three kinds of berries, pineapple, ice cream (don’t ask me how you’re supposed to dip that in the fondue) and chocolate chip cookies.