It’s Wednesday. Let’s talk about wine, shall we? In fact, let’s try to talk about it (and drink it, of course) every Wednesday. If you have something you’d like to talk about (or like me to talk about), leave a comment! As an introduction, I’ll tell you how I came to be a wino and we can move on to more cerebral topics in the weeks to come. Let’s begin.
(Kristen, I told you I was going to do this!)
This may come as a surprise to some, but it took me awhile to find my drinking legs. I didn’t drink in high school; I was too committed to all of my activities to risk being kicked off. Even in college, my sister got me drunk for the first time just a few months shy of my 21st birthday and it didn’t go well. I tried boozing it up after that, but I just wasn’t good at it (read: drunk dials followed by puking hangovers). I didn’t like the taste of beer and couldn’t hold my liquor (literally) with the hard stuff. It had to be sweet and fizzy for me to drink it and that was bad news.
Riunite Lambrusco was my gateway.
This magical “red wine” was served cold and has a little bit of fizz to it. At least that’s the way I remember it from the Olive Garden. Ah, Olive Garden. The college date night restaurant where I wanted to have an alcoholic beverage AND impress my boyfriend for being worldly. Riunite is Italian, no?
When I could be myself, I chose white zinfandel with my friend Paul on Wednesday nights. We’d order pizza and watch 90210. The original cast was my age (Class of ’93, yo!). I could soooooo relate to their troubles. Also, Luke Perry was easy on the eyes. White zin is still my mother’s go-to in the wine department, which I find endearing.
Then the boyfriend’s mom starting pouring me a glass of Carlo Rossi straight from the jug they kept in the garage “at the perfect temperature.”
I could definitely stomach red wine by this point and was glad to drink it if that’s what was being poured, but it wasn’t my true love. I still wanted something sweet — specifically Mike’s Hard Lemonade in the summer, or maybe even a margarita if it was being served. Fast forward through a break-up, a new relationship (complete with restraining order), and the stress of buying a house on my own… Oh yeah – and another break-up. The [sugary] drinks had become my best friend.
By this time, it’s 2003. Friends had introduced me and Greg through email and he and I were planning my visit to San Francisco to meet in person. While I don’t think anyone would have called me fat, I wanted to put my best foot/legs/abs/arms forward for our first meeting. I glommed onto The South Beach Diet and declared sugar as the mortal enemy. For the first two weeks, you’re on a very strict NO SUGAR (no fruit, no carbs of any sort, no booze) diet and then you add things back in during Phase 2 until you reach your goal weight. I lost 13 pounds in Phase 1. When I got to Phase 2, the only booze you could add back in was red wine.
I was born-again. I learned to love red wine (and vegetables) as part of The South Beach Diet.
Not only is it low in sugar, I look classy drinking it.
Are you a wino like me? What’s your story?