Sunday, December 17, 2006

Life in Wine

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.

12 comments:

Drew Blackstone said...

All that is why I drink Dr. Pepper. I have never thrown up, gotten pregnant, or had a DUI because of Dr. Pepper. I have stayed up all night having a great time playing board games with my friends and peeing a lot, though.

Peace out

BTW - Bartels and James wine coolers and California Coolers. You really had to watch out for the peach. It tasted like Kool Aid, so you could drink a lot and before you knew it, you'd be in trouble.

Manic Mom said...

True Drew, who needs wine when you get TWENTY-THREE FLAVORS in a Dr. Pepper!?!?!? What is up with that Ad campaign?!??! cracks me up.

And BTW back at you--I have NEVER had a DUI thankyouverymuchmister! ; )

I have peed a lot though.

And YES! Bartles and James! Those guys.

ramblin' rose said...

The Australian Reds get me in trouble all the time ;) .... so now I stick to white.....

Swishy said...

Yeah, it'll be full circle all right ... when you end up pregnant AGAIN!!! HA! Would you DIE????

reddragonsangel said...

both of my kids were concieved on Absolute Currant and cranberry juice- now that I am fixed I can drink with abandon- about once a monthor so- when ever we can bribe a sitter- wine makes for ugly-ass hangovers for me- and I'm on the same thoughtline as "swishy" is theis a prelude to a positive pregnancy test? (ducks to avoid object you threw at me) just askin'-sheesh!

Manic Mom said...

Folks, you know this is exactly how terrible rumors start, don't you?

RR--we are kindred spirits... haha, I just wrote spirits, like wine, liquor... oh boy.

Swish--If I am pregnant, will you come live with me and be my nanny?

Red--Are your kid's names Currant and Cranberry? hee hee!

March to the Sea said...

Sun Country made some goooood wine coolers for when you were first starting to drink.

The girl I dated in highschool love Purple Passion. That was GAAAH-ROSS though. Yuck.

Jocular Schlemiel said...

If you like Red Wine, I suggest you try the Sella & Mosca 2003 Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva. My father got me into this one. It is a red, but in fact is a little lighter than your common cabs or merlots.

Also, if you are a Pinot Grigio fan, I suggest trying the Santa Margherita. That probably is the best, and most popular Pinot at my work that isn't the house Cavit.

BTW, you didn't ever get a 30 of Stones? (meaning Keystone Light)

Trish Ryan said...

Manic, this is priceless - you are sooo right! How could I have forgotten about the shoulder blade gas pain caused by those B&J four-packs!!! (I suspect that's why they were discontinued; gas should NOT be near our shoulders!)

Hubby and I are working on a "family expansion project" of our own - I'll tell him to stop by the store for some red on the way home :)

Barbie Jo said...

OMG - did you just bring back memories of Sun country wine coolers!!! Oh, and just so you know...I had a hard time getting thru your post, because I'd just posted a wine topic of my own!

This is very dejaveuz (sp?>??) of the baggy pants post with Kari! (HA!!)

I hear ya with the wine. It's funny how you progress from white zin, to pinot grigio (still my favorite), chardonnay, and now reds. I'm actually to the red point and I'm liking them alot. I'm totally into the dry wines now. White zin is too darn sweet.

But after this weekend, I'm ready to "do Dr. Pepper"....

Hey, any news from(K)?

Manic Mom said...

Jocular--I'll have to check out that red. thanks for the tip. And I do know how good Santa Marg is--when we bought our home, our realtor asked what was my favorite wine. I said Santa Marg Pinot Grigio--SHE BROUGHT US A CASE!

Oh yeah, we did Keystone too. Remember Red Dog?

Trish--Get some red definitely--It does something to get ya in the mood! Have fun tryin'!

Barbie W--I haven't heard from K other than she will get back to me the first of the year. 'Nother rejection this past weekend. K's it for me, if she'll have me! Thanks for asking!

Susan said...

I don't have much choice when it comes to the Australian reds or whites, or rather I do have a large choice. (an Aussie)

Apparently there is a HUGE glut of Australian wine (I was told by a Master of Wine in a recent interview) Nice title huh? I consider myself more of a slave to the wine than a master.

But how I relate to the changing taste preferences. I started on a boxed vintage, then made my way up to a nice chardy. I then hated whites because they made me comatised (sugar preservatives etc) So I changed to reds, Cab sav, then Merlot now Pinot. I alternate these wines with scotches which I hoe down with a nice aspartame. Whats my preferred drink for chrissy. I am just looking around for a nice punch recipe. If anyone has one, please give it over.

S