Saturday, August 20, 2011

In Japan? Give the Gift that Shows You Have Taste and Style: 7-11 wine!

In Japan, as with most civilized countries, I think it is customary when visiting someone's house or accepting and invite for dinner, that you bring along a gift that shows you care. A gift that displays that special savoir fare of the distinctive class of gentleman (or gentlewoman) that you are. That is why, especially in Japan, when visiting or intruding on friends, one must never arrive without a present in hand.

Chateau de Marshall - The Marshall Family Summer Escape Palace

This weekend my family and I were invited to one of my ultra-rich friend's homes out on the beach overlooking a beautiful ocean view. The house is fabulous and the view breath-taking.

We awoke at 3:45 in the morning to begin the 3 + hour drive down to Shimoda from Tokyo to visit my friend's holiday retreat palace.

Shimoda is a famous ocean and beach resort town and is well known for being the city that Commodore Perry and the famous Black Ships visited in 1853 when forcing Japan's doors open to the world.  It is a special place rich in tradition and history.

Since we woke up so early to drive down to Shimoda, I was pretty drowsy and not thinking straight as I had worked until 11:30 the night before and only gotten in about 3 hours of sleep. I would soon come to regret that.

Nevertheless, without a care in the world, we all hopped in the car and began the long trek to our last dream vacation of the summer of 2011.

Along the way, we stopped at many convenience stores to visit the rest rooms and relieve ourselves... At one of the final stops, a 7-11 just on the outskirts of Shimoda, I realized that I had made a gross fox pass (or is it foie gras?)... I had committed a gross error equal to the level of participating an orgy of evil: I had forgotten to buy a classy present to bring to our hosts.

Quickly I scanned the 7-11 shelves for the best wine they had! Wow! Oh, thank heaven for 7-11 (いい気分〜ん)I was in luck. They had the good quality stuff!

Note the 7-11 label. The sign of distinction!

It was tough to choose from the fine selection of fine wines they had available. The Yosemite Road looked quite appealing and, at only ¥598 yen a bottle (about $7.81 USD) for quality Cabernet Sauvignon, who could go wrong?

But my friends are worth a bit more than that to me! So I splurged and bought the 7-11 Bourdeaux (Bor-dorks for you American readers) at ¥798 a bottle (about $10.28 USD). It is a fine wine and tasteful vintage... And, not only that, the wine comes in an easy to open screw top bottle. No messy corks to deal with. Isn't that "special" convenient? 

After all, my friends are worth that much to me! 

Thank God for 7-11 for saving my a*s for forgetting to buy a present for my friends. I mean, after all, if I am going to visit my millionaire friend's summer vacation home and be a guest, I'd better bring a killer bottle of wine with me! 

Upon paying for the wine, my wife appeared from the restroom and asked me what I was doing. I showed her the wine. 

She gasped, "You're not going to give that cheap wine to your friends are you?"

I hid the bottle behind my back... "Er, of course not, honey... I , er, was thinking that we needed to buy a present... "

"I already took care of that!" She replied. 

Like the good Japanese wife she is, yesterday she went to the ritzy department store and bought a bunch of very expensive sweets for our hosts.

When she gave the cookies to the hosts, they seemed really happy to receive them.

Of course they did. These people are refined and have good taste. 

I wouldn't be seen in public with them drinking that dredge that 7-11 calls wine..... Yuck! (I'll just drink it by myself at home - after all it's probably a heck of a lot better than the ¥218 a bottle one cup Takara Shochu rot-gut that I usually drink !)

Ah! The good life... Every once in a while, it's nice to see how folks live on "the other side".

Thanks to Roger and Miki Marshall     

1 comment:

boo said...

Our beloved OK Store usually has something imported from Italy or Chile for 450 yen or so, and the quality is quite good.
Easily on the same level as the 25,000 yen stuff I used to drink in my life as a nouveau riche poseur.