For the sake of an informed meeting with a doctor, many write down a long list of questions to prepare for the appointment. I am not one of them. I have just one essential inquire that will answer my concerns. Whatever medication the doctor prescribes or procedure the medical professional recommends, I ask “can I have wine with that?”
Because I love that beautiful bottle of alcohol — red, white, or bubbly, I adore them all. After my alarm goes off, my first thought is what kind of fermented grape, in which glass, and in what room will I imbibe my good friend tonight? It is the wine version of Clue. Bonus bet, will I take my coat off first?
It’s not just the actual high I get from a drink that makes me come back for more. I also get a buzz romancing the wine — entering the store, pacing the narrow aisles, checking out the inventory. I feel loved; the bottles stand in attention hoping I’ll bring one of them home. Pick me! Pick me!
While I am no oenophile, I like to pretend I am. In this role, I engage the salesperson to see whom he will set me up with on a blind drink.
“Can I help you?”
“Yes, I am looking for a sweet white wine from upstate New York.” In this performance as wine connoisseur, I am also a supporter of my home state.
“We just got a lovely riesling from the Finger Lakes, has a hint of white peach, smooth finish, and floral aroma.”
Like I could ever taste just the dash of white peach. If you blindfolded me, I could not tell the difference between a California Chardonnay or an expired Mott’s apple juice. But, I do my best Eric(a) Asimov, “White peach adds such a wonderful bouquet.” And, I buy it.
How this conversation should really go. . . . .
“Can I help you?”
“I am having a real crappy day. What wine will get me to feel that I am not that mad at my husband?”
My mom who asked me, “what wine goes with penicillin?” (the answer is Rose, zesty and fruity so it has vitamin C too), shared with me the most important wine-buying information — alcohol content. That figure should be above 12.5 %. When I am honest with myself, that is the most important criteria I use in selecting a bottle.
What’s better than drinking and shopping for wine? Consuming those medicinal grapes with people who share the love of this liquid. I met a group of women who shared my love of the wine when I was in the final days of my pregnancy. I was taking a mandatory parent to be series; that night’s subject: breastfeeding taught by an earnest lactation consultation. We were a flock of tired, bitchy, and most important, close to nine months of sobriety, women. After pretty much the same question was re-asked, the lactation consultant seemed more like a White House press secretary than a breastfeeding guru. “Ladies, ladies, enough! Let’s move onto other questions.” The important inquiries were: how much wine could you safely drink before breastfeeding? When would you have to pump and dump? How much time needs to pass after you have a few before you can breastfeed? Can you drink while you breastfeed or is that like driving under the influence, a class A misdemeanor? It was a privilege to be in the same room as this gaggle of pregos. We went our separate ways after that night but I felt like they were my long lost separated at birth siblings.
Or, there’s my friend that has a glass of wine waiting for me when I am late to meet her at the bar. I take a sip before I say hello, sometimes. She is not offended, she gets me. Or, my pal who actually is a wine connoisseur. She took me to a wine tasting, and against my seemingly religious beliefs, I was required to spit out the sample of wine. For one wine in particular, she whispered “don’t spit that one out.”
There are times I wonder if maybe, just maybe, I have a “problem” or I am something that starts with an a and ends with c. (I cannot even say the word). I have heard that if you think you are “aromatic” then you probably are. I also read that it is safe for women to have five ounces of a wine daily. So, I measured. It’s a sip. Pretty scarey. Perhaps, I am an “antarctic”.
In my google search about how to know if you are “archaic”, I discovered that doctors know that patients take liberties in the answer to the question how much do you drink on a weekly basis. I want to have a drink with those people.
I get a lot of joy from drinking. So, I am okay with living in denial. And, I will have a big glass of wine with a high alcohol content in my hand.