Elizabeth must have stubbed her toe on a bedpost immediately before reading Hitchens’ recent Slate column, otherwise I can’t see why she would use this blog as a forum to rant and rave about an article that I thought highlighted an important point about wine service in restaurants. Let me preface this by saying that I have no expectations regarding the content of “Fighting Words” so I can’t speak to whether or not it is a serious departure from his normal musings. Certainly if i was accustomed to a journalist writing within a particular genre I would be annoyed by any egregious changes as well. If Bill Simmons starts blogging about the Democratic Primary I’ll tune out in a heartbeat.
That said, Hitchens makes at least one legitimate point. Waiters should always ask before pouring. I don’t need or want to pour wine myself, but I’d appreciate the wine not being needlessly dumped into the abyss that is some female to remain un-named’s glass. Hitchens’ complaint about having conversations interrupted is less interesting. Annoyance with this act will increase in direct proportion with the arrogance of the speaker. But I think it’s important to understand that waiters are there to sell you wine and that they have occasionally obnoxious techniques that they employ to do so. If a few acts of defiance would curb this practice, then I’m all for it.