There have been all sorts of times, since you were a child in kindergarten, until you were old enough to know who to share and not share with. Naturally, its only kind to share with someone who does not have. If you have a sub sandwich at lunchtime and you cannot finish and probably will not make it back to your home after a long commute, by all means, share it. There must be someone in your office who did not have time for lunch, or no money, or certainly someone homeless who would appreciate it.
Then, there comes a time when you get a great gift, something that cannot be bought, and you want to share it with people. It can be good news, it can be something like finding a rare item like food or wine. Once such example is demonstrated perfectly from an episode of The Sopranos when Furio returns from Italy with several bottles of wine from his family’s vineyard.
Upon his return, Furio brings a bottle to his boss Tony, to his wife she later tells someone else “he said it was wine but it was vinegar or either turned to vinegar”. In another scene he takes it to the capo Uncle Junior and his nurse tries it and says “it needs some water and ice”. Its clear no one appreciates the taste. They can’t taste or see outside of the box what wine is and how homemade wine is different than processed, filtered, bottled wine we buy in a store. So sad.
All of this resonates back to my experience when I brought back some bottles I cherished to people I wanted to share my special, personal, treasures with. I brought a bottle of Vittorio’s home made wine to my Italian barber since he performed the mandolin for the short video I made of the winemaking. No comment other than “yea, I finished it, when can I get another”. Then you have my relative who said it could not compare to the wine made by our relatives in Sicily and the grapes were “over here” and the fermented wine “over there” as if to say they were in two different spectrums. I gave a bottle to my boss, because he is Portuguese and appreciates these things, but he said “I have to bring you a bottle of what my friend makes”. And finally I brought a bottle to my friend’s house for Christmas Eve, which he did not drink but he father really dipped into and commented “you can really taste the grapes” and I don’t know if this was a compliment or a passive criticism, but in all honesty, I wish I had all 3 of those bottles back to enjoy myself. People that do not understand homemade wine and not going to appreciate it. They want to compare and put it on the same level of what you would find in a supermarket, and they will never truly understand that they are 2 different things and only judge it as one.
My Friend went to South Carolina to hunt wild boar. He brought me back some and I was all more than happy to finally make a batch of Mario Batali’s Wild Boar Ragu. This famous chef owns and/or has access to a farm in Texas, and the sauce is one of the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. The boar tastes like a wonderful beef brisket and while you have the pork taste, its very flavorful. I spent hours cleaning, cooking, jarring this sauce and gave to friends and family. I don’t solicit opinions, I wait for them. No one said anything. I thought it was delicious. Did they forget, not care or just didn’t like it? No one thanked me, at best, some neighbors washed the jar and returned it to me. For all I know they poured it out and washed the jar, maybe the idea of wild boar scared them.
So, i finally find this home cured salumi that just about comes close to what my dear friend used to make. I buy several sticks of it to share, and again, just criticism. “What is that mold on the outer casing?” Well, its natural, its edible, just like blue cheese, and, you can peel it off, But the comments come “its too salty, the casing gives it a weird taste, etc. I don’t even deny all that, but these people just don’t get that its not cold cuts from a supermarket or deli and yes, it may have a very different taste and appearance, but this is real stuff, from the old world. Forget its hard to come by or expensive… just have an open mind to something truly made the way it was 100 years ago?
So, in this case, unless you are sharing the wine with someone who grows and makes wine, don’t share. In fact, if even they are going to be critical, do not share. Keep the whole bottle to yourself, enjoy and bring a store bought bottle to them you hope will be satisfactory to them. But don’t ever waste something that is rare, different and unique from what one might know with someone that cannot appreciate it, much less enjoy it.
Be greedy, don’t share it, enjoy it in your own company as a snack, lunch or dinner feast. Don’t feel guilty, and don’t let people rain on your parade because they can’t appreciate what it took to produce great things like this that cannot be bought.