Monday, October 5, 2009

Making homemade wine


I assume that women initially suggest the making of homemade wine as most men I know like beer a lot more than wine.  And it's a couples thing to do, isn't it?  If you thought of a single man or woman bottling wine by themselves, it would seem like a sad act, done alone in a dingy basement with only the cats for company.  If a single guy or girl started talking about bottling 47 bottles of Merlot over the weekend, they would be looked on with pity and thought to be a complete alcoholic/sad loser type.

Making homemade wine is strictly a Romantic Couple thing to do because a bottle of wine invokes the image of two people in love, bonding and chatting together during the bottling process, riding bicycles together on warm summer nights.  When it finally comes time to drink the fruits of your collective labour, it makes sense to have a romantic, candlelight dinner where your inhibitions lower as quickly as the bottle does.  

So now it's a thinly veiled way to say that you got laid this weekend to your co-workers on Monday.

"What did you and your wife do this weekend, Phil?"
"Oh, we bottled some wine and then I grilled some steak, nothing much,"  (this followed by the memory of trying to undress your partner as if struggling to remove cellophane from some large product.)

Ah, good times.

And that's all well and good.  Shag on, my friends.  Shag on.  Until you get to this next stage. 

I find it hard to believe that you're going to make 422 bottles of wine and over the course of the next year or so have 422 drunken, wistful, candlelit sessions together.  Seems a rather elaborate and long-drawn-out way to get laid.  

And because I have at least three separate close family members who do make their own wine, I can tell you exactly what they do with it.

They try to give it away.

Fuck no.

Now you had to go and get me involved in your love/wine-making sessions and I have to tell you, I want no part of it.  

I have to admit, I am mystified by the whole wine-making phenomena.  I mean, I totally do not understand it.  If you really like wine, would you not prefer quality wine?  I know I do.  And I'm not talking about expense here because a bottle of Naked Grape is under $10 and it's delicious.  My "high class choices" are no more than $20 because I have learned I cannot tell the difference between a bottle of $15 Wolf Blass Yellow Label and a $100 bottle of some French Reserve wine from 1993.

That being said, I can tell a bottle of homemade wine (only cost $1.27 to make!) and what I privately refer to as real wine a mile away.  And no matter how nice your family and friends are about it, your wine really isn't that good, I have to tell you.  Plus, buying a kit at a wine shop isn't like owning a vineyard, so please stop telling everyone how much better your homemade wine is from every other homemade wine in the world because all of you shop at the exact same place and the variations of your wine are all strikingly similar (read: vile.)

Other people are taking it because it's free and it's alcohol, which makes it a win/win combination in most any social situation.  But they are only chugging it as an express way to get drunk and frankly, I'd rather chug straight vodka if I were that determined to get drunk in the shortest and tasteless amount of time possible. 

And if you wine makers don't do it for the taste, why are you all so effing snobby about it?  Especially about Blush wine (not real wine.)  Oh, like your cheap crap is?  And that I should be ashamed that I brought those bottles of Arbor Mist to the party and it was in poor taste for me to spout: "Arbor Mist, drink two bottles and you'll be Arbor pissed."  

Maybe you were just seething with resentment that even the blush was gobbled up faster than your rubbish homemade stuff, which you were stiffly and pointedly drinking from your own glass as if personally affronted that anyone should bring an offering of wine made from someplace that actually knows what its doing (yeah, I wouldn't normally consider sugar-coated, 6% alco-pop wine in this category, but compared to homemade?  You left me no choice.)  Oh, and you made a label for your "bottling company" on your computer that is some clever variation of your combined couple name, initials or similar.  Marvelous, darlings.  Your wit is as dry as your wine and with the same bitter aftertaste. 

The absolute worst offense is that in retaliation for anyone offering real wine anywhere, is for you people to cart around several bottles of your homemade stuff to any social gathering or family function you can, even if said person throwing the gathering has made it clear that they have a fully stocked wine cellar, their own bar filled with hard liquor and a beer fridge.

Why?  Why do you do this?  Then you leave a bottle or two behind (only 419 bottles left to get rid of, hurray!) and I have to tell you, trying to find takers to get that swill out of my house is like trying to convince someone to swallow condoms filled with cocaine and go meet Servio in Guatemala for me.  I have even shamelessly tried to press these "forgotten" bottles on the most drunken and indiscriminating of my friends at the end of an evening with no takers.

"Kim, you take it.  You drink white wine."  (As if I don't.)
"What ish it?  Ugh, you know, I can't even *think* about drinking wine right now, plus my husband doesn't drink wine and I don't have room in my fridge for it and I am about to take up religious vows so I wouldn't be partaking in spirits...or maybe I'm about to become a Ghost Hunter and I'm thinking of those spirits.  God, I love that show.  Those inferred red (christ, I'm drunk) infrared thermal imagining scans where you see the ghosts moving in an empty room are awesome.  They freak me out.  So anyway, I think I see my cab coming three blocks down so I better figure out how to tie my shoes.  Oh, I'm wearing flip flops, that's funny.   Ha ha ha, that's so funny.  So although it's a kindly offer, no, don't try to pawn this shit off on me, thank-you-very-much." 

Damn.  Totally understandable.  But damn.  So now we wouldn't be trying to pawn that shit off me now either, will we?

We can all breathe a little easier now.

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