Bruce Bradley: That last glass |

Bruce Bradley: That last glass


This is a long, long overdue complaint. I am a retired Napa winemaker who lived in Nevada County when I was young and moved back in 2012.

A few years back I was invited to a friend’s birthday dinner at a local restaurant. I brought with me a bottle of wine I had saved, from the last vintage I’d made for William Harrison Winery, a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($50; 90 points) — literally, the last bottle I had.

Our waitress, Karen, opened it in the kitchen. She asked me, “You gonna offer me a glass, too?”

“Of course,” I told her.

There were four of us at the table. I poured us each half a glass, which left half the bottle. Karen came back and didn’t wait for me to pour, but upended the bottle, filling her glass to the brim.

“Now you’re going to have to get another one from your stash,” she said.

“I don’t have a stash,” I told her. “That was my last bottle.”

“Huh…,” she said, and walked off with what was, literally, a $25 glass of wine — twice what anyone at the table received, and the last of that vintage I ever saw.

As an invited guest to my friend’s birthday celebration, I said nothing at the time, but ever since, whenever friends invite me to this restaurant, I still get angry thinking about it.

Bruce Bradley (winemaker, author and former bartender at The National Hotel)

Nevada City

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