Recently I visited an acquaintance's home with my son along with 20 or so other parents and their kids. When we arrived, the kids immediately started playing and running around while the adults settled in at the bar. Being one of the first ones to arrive, the hostess asked me what I’d like to drink.
“Red wine please.” My standard answer. Occasionally I'll ask for white wine if it’s a hot summer afternoon.
This was when things got awkward.
I watched our hosts scrambling behind the bar, looking for wine. There were at least two dozen bottles right in plain site. Confused, I figured the bottles I was looking at were all white wine. I’m flexible, “Don’t worry if you can’t find red, white is perfect too,” I told them.
The host responded, “Oh, it's not that. We have lots of red, but we only have expensive bottles and no ‘everyday’ wine. You understand, right?”
“Um, ya, okay. No worries.”
I sat at the bar making some casual conversation with some of the other parents who I’ve only chatted with a few times while the hosts search two floors of their home for “inexpensive” wine. I was about to call the wine search party off and just grab a glass of water instead. This went on for an awkwardly long time.
Eventually, the host presents a bottle of Chianti.
YES! “Chianti is perfect!”
He tells me when I’m halfway through my glass that the wine he gave me was from an expensive bottle of wine because it was on the shelf where they normally keep the cheap ones.
I’m thinking, OK, should I say thank you? Do they want me to pay them the $50 for their “expensive” wine? Remember expensive is relative.
“It’s good wine, thank you.” As I finished the last sip and the host just stared at my empty glass.
Okie doke, I guess a refill is out of the question.
I said a few quick goodbyes, thanked the hosts and got the hell out of there.
I felt gross.
From my perspective, here I was in a huge home with all the granite and stainless steel one could hope for, a fully stocked bar, and some luxury cars parked in an orderly garage.
To the naked eye, these people appeared to have everything. But not enough to share. Or, they were saving the good wine for “good company.”
In case you think I’m a wine snob, I’m not. If it’s red and comes in a bottle, I won’t discriminate. I’ll drink your bottle of Yellowtail with a smile, and I’ll drink your $150 bottle of wine with the same smile.
Treat everyone with the same respect. Whether it’s your new friend or your favorite uncle or your $100 a month client or a client that just dropped $20k on a coaching package.
Give them all the good wine.
Here's the most important part: Don’t, for the love of dark salty caramel chocolate tell them you’re giving them the good wine. Just give them the motherloving wine.
There are no "special occasions," They're all special occasions. Treat every single guest and every single client with the same level of attention. Don't hold out for a "special" client or an epic event. It may never come.
Enjoy it today, and every day.