Have you or anyone you know ever suffered from Opener’s Remorse Syndrome? That’s the feeling of regret after opening a bottle that you wish you hadn’t or just ended up not being worthy of the situation. It can be felt immediately after opening or as late as the next morning, which is usually more common. Symptoms are a sinking feeling in your stomach, a general wonderment of “what the hell was I thinking?!?” and overall aggravation at your own stupidity.
Whether your wine collection consist of 12 or 1,200 bottles, everyone has those stellar bottles that they are saving for a special occasion. But the question is what occasions are worthy enough of opening up your most prized cellar selections?
I have gone through this conflict on more than one occasion. It makes me feel like Wayne and Garth have channeled into my inner soul and I should be bowing to those bottles screaming “We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy… we suck!” This is because there are a many factors and variables that go into the equation of cracking open something special. To add to the pressure, your guests are usually impatiently awaiting your decision…with just a bit of drool dangling from the side of their mouths.
It’s always tempting to open something fantastic when you are in the good company of family and friends, but then the wheels start turning as you examine the situation. Are there too many people to open this one bottle? Even though you may love the people that are surrounding you, are they REALLY going to appreciate what you are about to open? Does everyone already have a few glasses in them and may decide to just chug whatever booze you put in their glass whether it’s Opus One or Moonshine? These are the questions that need to be addressed and answered in a timely fashion as to avoid the dreaded ORS (Opener’s Remorse Syndrome).
Here are a few rules of thumb to adhere to that will help navigate those sticky situations and avoid ORS:
- The Smaller The Group, The Better. When there are too many people inevitably someone will not get a chance to taste what you opened and you may catch heat for it for the rest of the night… or longer! I would put the cap at 6-8 people.
- Know Your Audience. If 50% or more of the crew is going to really appreciate and enjoy something special, than open it up. Who knows, you may enlighten someone in the other 50% and give them their Epiphany wine experience.
- Make It The 1st or 2nd Bottle of the Night. While you can still enjoy great wine after that, the taste buds are a bit shot and it just won’t have the same effect.
- Go With Your Instinct. Sometimes you just want to open a kick ass wine because you feel like it. In those cases, I say go for it! Just be aware of the possibility of ORS before you do, and if you are able to deal with those consequences, then you can’t go wrong.