I keep a sign on my front door that says No Soliciting….unless you’re bringing in a bottle of wine and are willing to wash some floors. That sign sits alongside another sign of special importance. Property protected by a wine swigging female. Boyfriend and parrot may not be upstanding either.
I’m not the only person on the planet with the commonality of such fruitful undertakings as drinking wine. It’s sometimes difficult persevering along this life path, which is also fortuitously timed with long hours of employment, uncivilized motorists, government idiocy, and gopher holes in the yard. There are days when we need that second glass, and days we need that second bottle. Although that second bottle should never serve as an inspiration to call Iran in a rather impulsive attempt to cease conflict. Vino may not solve all my problems, but neither will Sake or Tang. I drink because without it, I’m not as good a belly dancer or hula hooper unless I’ve successfully installed Sauvignon into my system. Sweet dreams are made of these, and I have found my sleep number in several glasses of the liquid goodness.
It wasn’t until later in life that I started grape cleansing again. I stopped way back when I drank something so sparkling that I scarcely noticed that it was cheap half-concord Cold Duck. I scored high on the popularity poll when I woke with my head spinnin’ and a regurgitating tummy. At the time, I believed that I would be a much better individual if I was inebriated. But I didn’t know the protocol for this particular amusement. Nowadays, I like grapes that have been stomped on until they mature into something I’d like to have dinner with and won’t make me walk away from feeling so pukey. Three goblets and I was slurring words and dizzily casting off the shackles of normal behavior. My idea of a happy meal was Two-Buck Chuck and a plate of Oreos. As anyone who has had a few with lunch can attest, funny things happen when we’re tanked and hyped up on sugar. Picture Mary Poppins in shorty shorts with chocolate crumbed lips, pole dancing on a tree trunk. While I didn’t die directly from ethylene glycol additives, I did end up in a state of headache shock. Cheap wines have also chased away other dedicated practitioners.
When I was dating, I practically auditioned men with Must Love Wine. Only they had to stay sober designated drivers while I proceeded to have all the fun. If guys showed up on first dates insinuating a booty call, I HAD to drink. Once I had kids, I needed to function on all cylinders. So I gave up a career to be a stay at home Chianti guzzler. It was the only thing that got me through those years of chaos. One time I think I made the mistake of adding wine to cupcake batter instead of water. My child was in an awfully good mood that day, but turned into a persevering graffiti vandal by placing crayoned sticky notes all over every inch of the house. Her younger sister simply passed out. I’ve spent a significant amount of time in the wine section of the grocers determining which vintage was the most sedative. My mother was always tethered to a wine glass. I can only imagine her horror when I was her kid who decorated the house with my cake frosting fingertips imitating Matisse.
After moving to California, I couldn’t be threatened by a drought. Nor did I want to limit my happiness to an hour, especially if somebody else was buyin. I discovered my love for wine in a bottle of Amarone and have stayed winsomely cheerful and somewhat sober ever since. And while practicing random acts of wineness, I drink from boxes only because it isn’t available by pods. Which is unfortunate when they’re slogan could be We Deliver, You Drink, We Pick-Up. I don’t want to confuse anyone into thinking that over-intoxication is acceptable. The devil is always around to taunt and tempt us into displays of foolishness. I have tried other intoxicants, like the night I discovered pina coladas. I was highly engaged in a heart-to-heart about sun protection until the barman informed me that I should be talking to people instead of small umbrellas. And yet if I gave up the coconut cocktails, I was afraid I might replace them with shot glasses filled with Ouzo or Grappa.
My challenge now is going to the grocers where I stand listening to strong opinions about what shoppers think I should be drinking. I’m never sure which bottle to buy. A bazillion of the stoic forms of fermentation stare back at me then blink their codes of silence. I’m always hoping that some extremely knowledgeable connoisseur will come along and fill me in on the incidental details of chemical balancing and what pleases the palate the most. If I choose a bottle of Chablis, then for sure I’m turning into my mother. If I pick the gallon bottle of Chablis, then I’ll know I’m my mother. If I buy a basic blend of Champagne varietals in an off-dry sweetly fortified Shiraz, then I’m really an Aussie. I sometimes wonder how a Riesling will pair with a sometimes emotionally fragile female. If it was left to me, these beverages would be served in every public place throughout the country.
Who knows better than the Europeans and the quality of tannic red grape content they contain. Surprisingly, the Vatican City populace has pounced on enough graped beauties with the sole intention of intoxication dominating every other country. The enclave of priests and cardinals are enjoying life a whole lot more than we are. I might have to move there. Their local cider seems very innocuous at first, then wham bam you think you’re in Amsterdam discussing Dutch rituals. Here, communion consists of a wafer and a sip of wine. In Rome, they offer a carafe and tell you to go find Jesus.
I will defend drinking these violaceous intoxicants until my dying days of Metamucil mixed with Merlot. So I say drink and be at your merriest, for tomorrow we may be aridly entombed from all those global warnings.