Questions such as these are myriad in retail settings and are frustrating for your local wine specialist. Picture yourself sitting at your desk. Facebook and Drudge are open in full glory, nestled quietly behind the spreadsheet you've been moving the same cells between the same rows looking "totally swamped right now". A stranger scooches up to your cube and begins speaking Undiscovered Tribal Babel. He then slaps the sh*t out of your face. Followed by a bucket of tears and runs off sucking his thumb. Naturally, you react in horror, disbelief, wanting to suck your own thumb and beg, "WTF?!". Welcome to "sympathy". For every wine retailer.
1. Take a picture of the wine label
By neglecting the memory of the producer of your wine, its varietal and place, you've depressed your own future wine experience. Education is retention. Thankfully, with the advent of cameras inclusive to every device from can openers to pooper scoopers, relax and save those brain cells for Words With Friends and backstabbing. I've advised people without camera phones to text themselves the name of the wine but, by the time they got around to it, the text made the Tribal Babel experience seem like "The Sound of Music".
Here's a little "Oprah After the Show" for you. Behold: Wineboy's Filing Cabinet. Anytime I taste a wine, I save the cork and write the date on it. Even if I hate it. I attach a memory to the cork: who I was with, where I was, who held my hair back, etc. By attaching a memory, I've given the wine a context and can easily recall whether I liked it and its tasting notes. The more clinical trade tastings us wine writers/buyers/etc., attend make it a little more difficult to locate the cork. In these cases, I accept take-away collateral from the house, anything from review cards to golf towels, key chains and decanters. I also keep a folder filled with notes on cocktail napkins, business card backs, and scraps of paper used earlier in the evening to receive a sub-par person's #, later serving his purpose in the wine community. From frog to princessa.
3. Drink Less, Lilo.
jk. Enjoyment is everything. Classrooms are for focusing. Parties are for what this site is all about: elevating the enjoyment of your wine experience and the poor decisions that follow. If you can't remember, ask for something new. Just don't walk in wearing war paint and feathers hoping for a Miracle on 34th St. Every new bottle is a destination you haven't traveled. And you can continue playing Words With Friends, even during take-off.