Why is the last glass from a bottle always the best?

If you hang around wine long enough, you discover, perhaps to your surprise, that there aren’t as many commonalities among wine drinkers as you had first imagined.

This comes as a surprise if only because, when you first start on your wine journey, you’re sure that, of course, your fellow drinkers must like all obviously good wines. Then you meet someone, often at the same dinner table where such a wine is being served, who disagrees, saying, “I don’t like Cabernet Franc.” (Gee, I loved that wine, you think.)

During a tasting not long ago, a guy who’s had a vast number of Burgundies and has what I’ve considered is a good palate, declared, “I’ve never thought that the 1993 vintage was all that good for red Burgundies.”

Really? Gee, some of the greatest red Burgundies I’ve ever tasted came from that vintage, including some of the wines that were in front of us at that very moment. Go figure.

All of which is to say that the longer you taste and drink wine, and hang out with fellow wine lovers, the more you realize that consensus is rare. And then you come upon the “last glass phenomenon.”

The last glass phenomenon is simple enough: The last glass of wine from a bottle always seems like the best. When you first experience this, in the formative years of your wine life, you figure that it must be particular to you. “I’m feeling the effects of alcohol,” you say to yourself. That’s very likely true. Perhaps a bit embarrassed by that, you keep your “last glass” opinion to yourself.

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