Check price before you buy

September 12, 2017

It's wise to check out the price before you taste the goods.

Sometimes I feel as though my life is one big, awkward affair that involves getting into situations that will continue to humiliate or haunt me for years to come.

Last Saturday, when I ventured to the Violet Town markets with some friends to take part in some innocuous spending and food sampling, was just one of those occasions.

The day started off well, driving through the rolling countryside in the sun before a short stroll and a munch on the market’s giant vegie spring rolls.

I was keen to treat my palate to a drop of red, and one friend recommended we visit a specific tent, known for a wine among the finest in Victoria.

The four others, already filled with craft beer, stood back as I inched my way to the table, eyeing off the wine and its rather intimidating vendor.

After realising I couldn’t buy a glass, I nervously began to sample the wine, urging my friends to join me.

The man, who was around my mother’s age, looked experienced in the art and spoke well as he explained how the winery’s reserve brand had secured the first-class client base of a renowned airline.

‘‘It’s a shame I’ll never be able to fly first class,’’ my friend joked.

‘‘Maybe I can just buy the wine here and smuggle it onto economy?’’

I quickly finished off my last sample and opted for a Merlot I’d enjoyed the taste of.

‘‘Erm, that’s $43,’’ said the man, suspiciously eyeing the $20 I’d offered.

My eyes widened and then I widened my purse further and regretfully coughed up the remaining dough.

I’d always taken pride in being a ‘strong, independent woman’ but felt in that moment I’d taken the notion too far.

I spent the rest of the afternoon regretting the purchase, looking at all of the other things I’d wanted to buy but couldn’t with the wine burning a hole in my side.

There is a lot to be said for those who have the confidence and brutality to stick to their morals and I’m sad to admit that I am not one of those people, unless I have the time or forcefulness to act.

Looking back, I wish I’d used a tactic I’d pulled off only weeks earlier in an expensive Melbourne clothing boutique.

I’d tried on a top and only discovered the $300 price tag once I’d assured the pushy sales assistant that it was a ‘‘beautiful top and a perfect fit’’.

Panicking, I concocted a fake phone call and pretended there was an emergency family situation.

‘‘Sorry, it’s a beautiful top but I have to go, family emergency,’’ I screeched at the woman standing outside and then fled the premises.

In the end, the wine paired well with the thyme vegetables I roasted in the oven before I drank too much and fell asleep in front of a British crime drama on Saturday night.

It may have been a mistake, but at least it’s not sitting on the shelf as a constant reminder of my failures.

Rhiannon Tuffield is a reporter at The News.

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