I'll start carrying wine in the passenger seat rather than the trunk (impossible when I have a companion). My girlfriend agrees that we're experiencing tremendous inter-bottle variability that is very very frustrating (again, between bottles of the same vintage, valley, varietal & winery).
I hear you on the dumb phase possibility. But if this effect can be so noticeable between bottles purchased only weeks apart, how can one ever know what is a 'good' bottle to purchase for a get-together? If every single bottle is a 100% gamble every time, this hobby might be killed before it starts for us.