There is a process to wine drinking, you all know that, right? You know when you first start drinking wine, you hit the Mad Dog 20/20 in order to get a fast, cheap buzz in high school, and then you might also throw in a couple bottles of Peach or Raspberry Reunite for a classy alternative. "Backintheday" of high school drama and unchapperoned drinking parties, they used to make Sun Country (was it Sun Country, now I can't remember?! Or what were the names of those two guys in the wine cooler ads? This will drive me crazy so if you remember, please tell me!) Two-Liter bottles of wine coolers that we girls would chug until we felt gas pains in our shoulders.
I have no idea why they stopped making those?
Then you go to college, and have to learn to like beer cuz that's usually all that's available. You get through your college years drinking Meisterbrau, Milwaukee's Best (The Beast) or Rhinelander for its cost-effectiveness, or the Stroh's 30-pack because you get SIX EXTRA BEERS! You deal with warm keg beer with tons of foam, but you don't care. It's liquor, it's a party. You puke in the parking lot on the way from one party to another and it doesn't matter. It's fun. It's college. It's just some of those life experiences.
This is not going where I thought it was headed. I was talking wine.
Then you get out of college, and attempt to learn how to choose a restaurant based on its atmosphere and wine list, and not that it stays open all night and you know you can get an order of fries, maybe even with cheese, with the money you have left over from the night of drinking at the bar.
At that segment in life, when you're just starting out in 'real life' and are figuring out what career you got stuck in because it was the first interview you had and the guy who hired you was kinda cute in a weird kinda way, and you didn't care that you were just making $18,000 a year; you've arrived! You are officially a career-woman!
You need to learn to drink wine!
And then, your live-in fiancee, almost husband starts getting asked out to dinners for work, and he also has to start taking clients out to schmooze them into buying advertising for the new start-up minor hockey team in your town, so you go out with people who are older, who are wiser, who have already done the Reunite and Mad Dog thing, and you're out there, and it's time to order, so you think you'll be classy and order some wine.
Enter Berringer White Zinfandel.
For a few years, you think you are cool, hip, wine-knowledgeable, and holy shit, when the day comes you can finally afford to spring for a whole twenty-two-dollar bottle of White Zin AND a salad, an appetizer, AND main course, you think you've arrived.
Heh heh heh.
Then one day, your now husband comes home from a dinner out with clients and he mentions he tried a great new wine that he knows you'll love... Pinot Grigio. It takes you just as long to learn how to say Pinot Grigio as it did to take you to learn how to order your grandenonfatsugarfreevanillalattenowhipextrahot. You feel wise. You know how to say "I'll have a bottle of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio" with a nice flair sound to the ghhhhzzzz in Grigio. Again, you think you have arrived.
Oh, the cluelessness of it all.
And then, years later, add one kid, and you're at a family-friends home, and they serve Rosemount Shiraz, the Australian red kind. You've never had red really, only pink, which was really either Mad Dog 20/20 or White Zin, which is equally strange because White Zin should be White, right? And so you drink the Rosemount Shiraz, five bottles between four of you, and the next thing you know, that evening you are straddling your husband in your family-friends home guest bedroom, and three weeks later you discover you are pregnant.
You're happy to be pregnant, of course, because this means Diva will arrive, but you decide you can no longer drink red wine as it gets you pregnant. And, in being pregnant, you can't drink anyway, so you stop drinking. Wine, and everything else.
For some reason after the second baby arrives, you move onto Vodka Tonics with lots of lemon, but when summer ends, you find yourself yearning for wine again, and go back to the tried-and-true Pinot Grigio. You've always liked how the words rolled off your tongue anyway. You attend grown-up parties and events, spending time with worldly people, and discover you have no liking for Chardonnay; it's too oaky for you, yet, it seems to be the popular choice and you ease into it, starting with Luna de Luna, a nice Pinot-Chardonnay.
Eventually, you make your way to liking Chardonnay, and drink it for a few years, thinking you've finally found the wine of choice, the one you'll most likely stick to, for it's allright. For now...
But then, you begin to see that reds are making their way back into your life. You have no affinity for reds. The sulfides make your heart race, the red grapes cause pregnancy. You don't want to go red.
But. You do. And now it's time to learn about the reds, and you're not feeling the merlots too much, and cabernet savignon is just too hard to say. You move toward the light-bodied Pinot Noir.
And you still have difficulty with the flair of saying 'Noir' without sounding like a fool, but this is the stage you're at now, the timeline of your wine-growth, and you're okay with it. You think. And although you think it was the Shiraz that caused your libido to rise that one fateful night, eight years ago, you did almost get caught in a compromising position last night by Diva, the one who actually was conceived of the red grape, and you wonder as you type this, if we've now come full circle... the wine, the baby girl, the wine last night, the baby girl, now seven, almost catching you 'in the act'...
and all because of the red. Yes, it's the red.