An open letter to the sommelier that kicked me out of another wine tasting

Marty Shambles
2 min readJun 23, 2022


Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

Hey Wine Nerd,

That wine didn’t taste like walnuts and sawdust. It tasted like wine. I know this because I’ve tasted a lot of wine in my life: from the blood of Christ to the gallons of Bota Box sitting in my wine cellar.

That’s wine-flavored wine.

My wife hates it when I call the basement my wine cellar. She calls her mirror a “vanity,” and she calls her drinking “self care,” so I don’t see why I can’t have a bit of glamor in my life.

I go down there for hours most days. Like you, I have a cup that hangs around my neck. I do it, so I don’t break more cups. You do it because you’re the Fancy Lad of Winetown, and you need everyone to know it.

Wine is better out of a box, and that’s just a fact. I don’t need to “let the wine breathe.” My wine isn’t doing yoga — it’s doing the hard manual labor of getting me wasted.

On the day of the wine tasting, you called me “a belligerent oaf,” and let me tell you what, I wasn’t half as belligerent as I can get. I don’t need your “rules” about spitting out the wine to taste it. That’s wasteful and gross. All those rich people were spitting in buckets, and I’m the asshole for actually drinking the wine the way God intended. And yes, I may have vomited in one of those buckets later, but at least I got good use out of the wine while I borrowed it.

My wife moved out of the house because of “the incident.” Are you happy now?

This belligerent oaf is getting a divorce, and it’s all because some glorified drunk with a cup around his neck couldn’t handle the fact that I know more about wine. I can’t tell you the special wine regions of the world or what years are considered the best or whatever. For me, it’s about guzzling as much rotting grape guts as I can fit down my gullet.

And that is where I’m a champion.

I will tell everyone at Miller’s JetSki Emporium that you’re a fraud and a huckster and banging my wife. Good luck getting a personal watercraft in the greater Toledo area ever again, asshole!

I hope you lose your sense of taste.


Belligerent Oaf



Marty Shambles

Pushcart nominated author of short fiction. New book available at