Well I'm on the road again and sipping a glass of Columbia Crest Merlot (no vintage able to be provided) served much too warm as part of my room service meal - which was otherwise ... < ahem >.
Hotel wine (I'm at a nice upscale hotel in a savvy downtown area), I have found, is hit-or-miss for quality but reliably overpriced. It is typically served in a glass more comfortable on an airplane (first class - sure - but still on an airplane).
I don't know, I guess it's the saran wrap over the top of the glass that does it for me. It gives the glass that "you know it's still fresh" look as the bell-hop is carrying in my meal. If he holds still, I can even pretend that it's a jello-shot rather than a $10.00 a glass dram too warm to be quaffed unless you're Leif Anders-son of the viking kin. (viking kin enjoy warm or even hot wine, in fact that's the only way they'll even drink it - boiled. Heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves.)
This wine wants to be good. It aspires to be raised in a toast to the honor of some up-and-comer. Instead it is toasting under the 100 watt bulb of the desk lamp where the cabin boy put it.
I take a sip. Aaahhhh, warm cherries and hotel funk. Now I'll just squeeze some toothpaste right into my mouth, chew, swallow. That's the ticket.
It's not that good. But hey, at least it was expensive.