PressDemocrat.com posted a piece today by Bonnie Walker that explores why wine might taste better when you're out on the town. It's certainly worth a read if you've ever wondered how much of your wine tasting adventures were influenced by your surroundings.
Bonnie's article lists certain tings that finer restaurants are able to do to that aren't as easy for us to do playing along at home - among them maintaining optimal storage conditions, and paying special attention to how glassware is treated. Presumably, these things could make a wine ultimately taste better in the restaurant than the same wine that was stored above your fridge and then drunk from a plastic Burger King cup.
What I really liked about the article was how it finished:
"Finally, we get to what is a subjective reason that wine served at a restaurant might taste better than the same wine served at home. That might be simply because we're out, relaxed, not working to put a meal on the table or distracted by TV.Ahhh - the old "Lubricant for Life" hypothesis!
If the wine is being shared by friends, so much the better. Even if it's just a relative perception that the wine is better, that's always something to count as pleasure added."
I buy into that, because I think that wine tasting fundamentally has subjective qualities to it that cannot be totally ignored when evaluating whether or not you will like a wine.
How about you?