Those of you who know me personally or who read my column (thank you!) know that I love red wine. I love the beautiful, swirling colors, the oaky fragrance, the warmth of that first sip of a good vintage, the subtle differences between varietals, and even the sexy, long-stemmed glasses. Actually, the long-stemmed glasses are a fantasy. Kind of like a Norman Rockwell painting of the perfect, harmonious family dinner. A lovely visual, but a tad short on reality. I’m such a klutz that the household stemware collection has been exchanged, over the years, for fat-bottom tumblers and old jam jars. But the sentiment remains intact.
In my experimental years, I tried white wines (sharp and cold), tropical mixed drinks (fruit punch with a nasty kick), sophisticated martini-type drinks (extremely bitter. Who drinks these??), and hot drinks (the coffee kept me up for three days). If I don’t like it, I’m not drinking it. The point has never been to get all sloshed on whatever’s available, and do stupid things I’d regret if I could remember them the next day.
If red wine is not available, I’m the designated driver. But if there’s a great Cabernet on the menu, call a cab, because this woman is carrying a corkscrew. I do love a glass (or two…occasionally three. Don’t judge) of red wine at the end of the day, winding down and chatting with Hubs about whatever comes to mind. Over the past few decades of it being my sole drink of choice, I’ve discovered many reasons to fall in love with my red wine.
- It’s always there for you. A bad day and nobody’s home? Have a glass of wine. It’ll all be better tomorrow.
- It’s good for your heart. I love the doctor that came up with this one.
- It’s cheaper than a therapist. My therapist charges $150/hour. I can get a fabulous bottle of Old Vine Zin for $12.
- You can drink it at home in your pajama pants and bunny slippers. Of course, this works better if you’re home alone.
- Depending on your mood, you can drink it out of a beautiful glass, straight from the bottle, or out of a box. Yeah, that’s come in handy more than once.
- You can find it wherever you get your prescriptions refilled for feminine itching products. (And on the third bout of that unfortunate itch, trust me, you’ll be needing that second bottle.)
- It makes you sound sophisticated when you drop words like “legs,” “bouquet,” and “tone.” Don’t worry if you don’t know what those actually mean. Just stick them in a sentence when you hold up your glass or take a sip. Nobody else knows either.
- It makes you look classy. Well, at least for the first two glasses. After that, you’re on your own.
- It can help you bust your best dance moves. But in case that’s all the inhibitions you want to shed that night, after Ms. Summer finishes the “Last Dance,” you should have a cab waiting.
- It helps you tolerate crazy relatives. Grab a glass, with a generous pour, and find your Zen place. Preferably before Aunt Agnes arrives and asks, for the 200th time, why her gardening club in Minnesota has heard of your book.
- You can make fun words for new activities. Camping + wine = Glamping. Hiking + wine = Wiking. These are actual descriptions of activities offered in the Pacific Northwest. Personally, I’d much rather glamp than camp, and wike than hike. (Then of course, there’s banking + wine = Wanking. Bahahahaha. I crack myself up.)
- If you’re in the mood for more than one glass, find a wine tasting at your favorite wine bar. Tastings are a socially acceptable way to have 12 glasses in front of you and have no fear of judgment, because so does everybody else.
- It helps you have conversations with people who make no sense. “I have no clue what you just said. Let me go get another glass of wine” is perfectly acceptable. If the other person is really an idiot, you can get two.
- It helps you get through a six-hour family reunion without hyperventilating into a paper bag in the bathroom. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.)
- It’s the perfect gift for almost any occasion. Birthdays, anniversaries, housewarmings, and the day you spayed Boots, the family cat. Everybody loves a celebration.
- It can bring a group together like nobody’s business. Eight women at a table is fun. Eight women at a table with a fabulous bottle of Malbec is a party.
- It’s fun. Science tells us that red wine releases endorphins, the “happy hormones” that makes everything better. Kind of like running, but you don’t have to get out of your sand chair on the beach. And it just keeps getting better.
- Studies also show that two glasses per day can slow dementia, reduce depression, and increase our sex drive. It’s a wine trifecta. I’m so proud of you, my yummy little glass of Cabnernet.
- A recent study found that women who drink red wine were less likely to gain weight over a 13-year period of time. Who needs Jenny Craig?
- It gets better with age. (And gives us hope that we will too.)