Like most people, I have a few quirks. When I eat at a restaurant, I never sit with my back to the door. I’ve seen too many mafia movies. The cash in my money clip always faces the same direction and is organized by denominations from smallest to largest. When I watch TV, I rub my feet together as a way to relax and self-soothe. (The noise used to drive my kids batty.) Finally, I like my coffee extremely hot and my drinks extremely cold.
When I’m at a restaurant or bar and want a cold beer, I always ask what size glasses they have. Most establishments offer 16, 20 or 24-ounce pours. One place I visited offered beer in 32-ounce mugs. Great deal, I suppose, if you like to quaff down a quart of beer without breathing. For a non-guzzler like me, by the time I’d get to the bottom of that glass, the last two or three inches would be mostly warm backwash.
Once, while we were on a trip, my buddies and I stopped at a bar for a cold one. The female bartender and I had the following conversation:
Me: I’d like an IPA, but I only want you to pour half the glass at a time.
Bartender: Ummm, I’m not sure I can do that.
Me: Why not?
Bartender: Ummm, there’s no button on the cash register for half a beer.
Me: (Shaking my head and speaking slower.) Here’s what you do. You charge me full price for one beer. Then you fill the glass half full. That way it stays nice and cold, the way I like it. Then, when I’m ready, you pour the other half for me.
Bartender: Ummm, well, I’ll have to ask my manager if I can do that.
I don’t think she had a bright future in the decision-making arena.
You might be surprised to know that people in Brazil have already figured out a solution to this problem. Over the years, my wife and made several trips to Vila Velha, Brazil, in a quest to build her business internationally. While she met with moderate success, given the fact that neither of us spoke Portuguese, we did have a lot of fun, met some great people and enjoyed the food and drinks there. We stayed at the same hotel each time which was right on the beach. Up and down the walking path along the beach, there were kiosks where you could buy food or get a cold drink. We stopped at one the first time we were there and each ordered Brama, a common Brazilian beer. The waiter brought out two 20-ounce beers, each can snuggled inside a thick Styrofoam cooler to keep it nice and cold. He then set two small, 6-ounce glasses on the table, which allowed us to pour and drink small amounts of the ice cold beer. The last sip ended up being just as cold as the first! Perfect for somebody like me.
All this brings me to the point of my story: The other day I was looking at social media and came across a sponsored ad for an interesting-looking product. It was called VoChill, and, unlike most commercials, this one caught my eye. The device is a small stand that can hold a circular, hollow cradle that’s filled with water. The cradle is put in the freezer for a few hours and then, when you’re ready for a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine, you attach the cradle to the stand and set your glass inside. After you pour the wine, it will stay chilled at the same temperature for up to 45 minutes.
I immediately ordered four sets and they arrived three days later.
Last night as I watched the Godfather for the 10th time, I found myself rubbing my feet together as I straightened the cash in my money clip. Next to me on the sofa was a glass of Whitehaven, my favorite white wine, perched in the cold cradle of my brand new VoChill. As promised in their ads, the last sip was just as cold as the first.