Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Wino I'll Never Be

Yesterday (Wednesday...the day before Thanksgiving) I was trolling through my backlog of unpublished blog posts for no other reason than to wile away the remaining hour or two or four before the Thanksgiving holiday begins. In so doing, I happened upon the post below. I think I actually wrote it roughly a year ago???

Since Thanksgiving meals often involve a nice glass of wine (unless you belong to my family where only water and sweet tea are served), I thought it very fitting to schedule this post for Thanksgiving day. It isn't a traditional post filled with all things for which I'm grateful. I covered that subject with my 30 Day Journey Toward Thankfulness. But then again, after enough wine, I'm sure I could find 121,398,687 more things to be thankful for.

Things like hair color and wrinkle cream and bi-focal glasses... elastic waistbands and flannel pajamas. And things like toilet paper and working toilets. You know, all those things that would otherwise be forgotten.

Funny how much more fun life appears and your perspective changes when looking through wine colored glasses!

I hope everyone has a Thanksgiving filled with family, food and fun!


I read a recent post on SITS Girls about a twitter party hosted at Have Wine Will Drink. Sounded interesting enough. I like a good glass of wine every now and again. What better way to enjoy a glass of  vino than with some like minded blogging gals? This time, however, I knew I would be otherwise detained during the appointed drinking hour so I only scanned the information. As my eyes glossed over the words, I stopped short when I read they would be "sharing wine tips".

Those three words..."sharing wine tips"... created a real problem for me. They made me painfully aware of how little I know about wine. You see, I am an ignorant, socially handicapped wine "person".


I'm sure you are wondering what 40-something year old woman doesn't know a little bit about wine. Especially one who has been through divorce AND a broken engagement AND raising two kids. Isn't wine viewed as THE great escape from all of life's stresses?  I dare say many a manic mom has professed to tightly clinging to a glass during her Calgon refuge from toddler-to-teenage hell.

But I'm different.

Drowning my sorrows and frustrations in a bottle (or box) of soured grapes was never an option. I weathered my worldly woes totally sober.

I know.

What was I thinking?

I totally missed the point.

As I said, I know nothing about wine. My knowledge can be summed up by saying I know wine comes from grapes.

That's it.

That and the fact I also know wine comes in the following flavors... red and white. I'm assuming if you mix the two you get pink??? (I'm not really sure that's true but it sounds perfectly plausible.) Other than that..I come up empty handed.

Ask me why a bottle needs to breathe or why a waiter offers a small sampling only to have it swirled (in the glass), sniffed, sipped, swirled (in the mouth) then swallowed...well...I can only respond with a shrug of my shoulders and a blank stare. If that confession isn't enough to forever seal my membership in the Wine Drinkers Hall of Shame I will go ahead and spell it out for you.

I am a total wine drinking dim wit.

I don't know shit about wine.

Not to shift all blame but some of my ignorance can be attributed to my up-bringing. My parents were God-fearing, Southern Baptist teetotalers. We were forbidden to partake in alcohol of any sort. Being the never-break-a-rule-cause-I-don't-want-to-burn-in-hell sort of kid, I never touched the stuff. But I grew up and began to form my own opinions. I came to the conclusion alcohol wasn't all bad. Even still, I rarely drank. When I did, it was usually Vodka.

Cranberry and Vodka...

or Goose and Juice, as I like to say. Beer and wine just never made the list.

Fast forward to the present. After my broken engagement, I began dating again. I jumped into online dating with both feet and discovered just how poorly served I was by my lack of experience in the wine tasting world. Wouldn't you know, all my dates were total wine lovers! It seemed I had landed in the deep end of a pool of wine connoisseurs. Wine drinking pros. And boy did I ever feel inadequate. Unable to "swim", I found myself drowning in an ocean of Cabernets and Merlots and Chardonnays. Without a life preserver in sight, I relied on my wit and wisdom to save me.

What did I do?

What I always do...

fake it til I make it, Baby.

Plan A was to let my date choose for me. Most men possess a certain amount of machismo. They love flexing their manly "muscles" and taking care of their girl. Deferring to them stroked their egos and earned me a few brownie points in the process. Plan A almost always worked. But at times it became difficult. Some men would turn the tables on me and ask too many darn questions. Questions I had no answers to. Questions that required a reasonable amount of wine-drinking knowledge to answer. Questions that left me scrambling for a way out.

So I shifted gears and resorted to Plan B...

ask the waiter about the house wine.

Didn't matter what it was...I always enthusiastically answered..."Sounds wonderful. That's what I'll have". It eventually became a game of sorts. I must admit to never really listening as the waiter listed the house preferences. It always sounded the same. All I heard was "blah, blah, blah". I witnessed their mouths moving, forming words of some sort, but I never understood a damn thing they said.

However, I eventually became a master of the game. I would count the number of options and randomly ask them to repeat one of the choices. You order to appear all interested and stuff. Sometimes I would go with that selection. Other times I would pause as if truly considering which would satisfy. Still my decision would be random. I always wondered what concoction my delicately stemmed glass would hold. Would it be sweet? Dry? Light? Fruity? Bold? Strong? Woodsy? Earthy?

I almost sound like I know what I'm talking about.

But don't be fooled.

I'm just messin' with ya...

I haven't a clue.

I can't decipher body from bouquet to breed . Not one little bit. To me, wine is classified as red or white (if you totally ignore the pinks I mentioned earlier. I'm never one to mix my colors.) The only other means of separating one selection from another is whether or not I can choke it down. The bad news is this, if I didn't care for one of my random selections, I had no way of ensuring I never ordered it again. I never knew what I was drinking.

Wine selection is an art.

And I "ain't" no artist.

But not to worry. As I've shared before, it doesn't take too much alcohol before I stumble into the middle of a glorious inebriated state. Wine is no exception. Even if a certain type starts as a "I don't really like this" varietal, it is never long before it becomes a "This is really good stuff" selection. My "fake it til I make it" approach worked like a charm...

as long as I was seriously buzzed.


It looks as if I've just divulged a wee bit TMI. Once again, I've let all of blogville know I'm a complete loser. But then again, we all have our issues. I won't beat myself up over this one. Compared to some issues I could have, I feel pretty safe accepting I'm a wine drinking dolt.

Before I go, there is one more point to share. I've recently met a wonderful man. AND...he is a wine expert with the most discriminating tastes. A wine loving aficionado. The best of the best of all I've encountered in the wine drinking/selecting department. When he mentioned his collection is housed in his own personal wine cellar...a collection of over 1,000 bottles of wine... two specific thoughts crossed my mind. on Earth would I ever "fake" my way through THAT many bottles?

And Two...Who cares? My future looks more than merry through the anticipated drunken haze. This is most definitely going to be one hell of a fun "fake".

UPDATE: I'm no longer seeing Mr. Owns-His-Own-Wine-Cellar but we are good friends. In fact, we are friendly enough that I could possibly text him during a date asking advice regarding wine. With him making the decisions for me I would certainly "look" like I know what I am doing. That is as long as I can learn to text under the table and not get caught! long as auto-correct works in my favor. Something tells me that bugger of a meant-to-help-but-makes-you-look-like-an-idiot phone feature could really screw me up.

Maybe I should simply order Vodka...

on the rocks.

Yes...that will solve everything.



  1. Lisa, You never cease to amaze me!! I so enjoyed reading this post. I can say, I too know nothing about wine! Happy Thanksgiving, Love you!

    1. So...another EHS grad who knows nothing about wine? Why oh why does that not surprise me? LOL!

  2. A Sommeliers that I once knew in Florida told me; red wine for red meat, white wine for white meat and rose for people that know nothing about wine...
    Needless to say that began my rose drinking years.

    Great post and as usual, written beautifully. Cheers.

    A Fan

    1. Guess I now know where I went wrong...I never chose rose. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Hey...working toilets & toilet paper are definitely something to be thankful for...especially if you're drinking wine.

    A wino, who's also a major wine snob

    1. I second your appreciation for the potty and all necessary extras. And I now know who to text when I'm in dating-wine- selection limbo. Care to be on standby as my Plan C?


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