I'm a party boy. I love getting drunk and playing cornhole and roughhousing with friends, just being generally loud and obnoxious. I think of those times as "beer drunk." Other times, I'll get "liquor drunk," where I insist that everyone talks about how much they hate their fathers and we take turns puking in shrubbery. The one kind of "drunk" that continues to elude me, however, is "wine drunk."
Don't get me wrong, I've been drunk off of wine before, but not very often at all. Usually it's just at weddings where the bride and groom are too cheap to get hard alcohol, so they stick to beer and wine. Even then, I'm drinking more beer than wine.
Still, I've been told countless times that "wine drunk" is the best one, and not just by groups of unruly women preparing to watch the season finale of The Bachelor. So, I decided it was time to go do the one thing I've (surprisingly) still never done: wine tasting.
My friend Brianna, who's had the UTMOST pleasure of knowing me for 15+ years now, was the first person to come to mind as my partner for this endeavor. Not only does she know more about wine than anyone else I know, but she also writes for and runs one of the best wine blogs I've come across in my line of work, which is saying a lot. Brianna has a knack for seeking out the hidden gems, making the perfect wine/snack pairings and, above all else, having fun doing what she loves. That is what matters, right?
And so, my day begins after I receive a text from Brian saying she is five minutes away.
9:13 - I'm ready and waiting for Brian to pick me up. Her full name is Brianna, but I call her Brian because women named Brian are funny. There's a Redd's Apple Ale and a Miller High Life in the fridge, both widely considered to be cold, frosty feces. I drink them both anyways.
Drinks in - 2
9:33 - I get a text from Brian saying she's here. The text also says she brought her mom. I am both surprised and aroused at the idea. I welcome Mrs. Brian's mom.
9:34-9:57 - We discuss life and how things have been going, yada yada yada. Neither Brianna nor her mother have noticed my Jeff Goldblum shirt yet. For some reason, this infuriates me. I press on, for the sake of wine and wine enthusiasts worldwide. But seriously, it's freaking Goldblum. Grow up, ladies.
10:06 - Honig/2014 Sauvignon Blanc - I try my first wine. It tastes like Colgate. Brian assures me the third sip is the best one, as you're supposed to try each serving 3 times: first and second sip to coat the inside of your mouth with the wine and the third sip to actually get a taste for it. I also forgot that I brushed my teeth after chugging the beers, hence why the wine tastes like toothpaste.
Drinks in - 3
10:10 - I farted.
10:11 - Neither Brian nor her mother have noticed. Then again, they're eating pastrami sandwiches drenched in the vile nectar of pickles. They've forfeited their rights to smelling things today. Lucky for them too, because I'm being strangled to death by whatever ghoulish entity just snuck out of my ass and is now haunting the good people of this winery.
10:13 - Italo Cescon Artigiano Del Vino/2015 Pinot Grigio - Brian asked me to tell her what I taste in the wine. I told her they all smell the same to me. She chokes down the urge to slap me and instead insists that I try again. I said it tasted watery, and she lost her shit. "Yes, Sean! Exactly! Italian wines often taste a little more watery to those of us more accustomed to big, bold reds, like Cabs. You nailed it!" Of course I nailed it. I nail EVERYTHING, I am the Wilt Chamberlain of alcoholic accomplishments.
Drinks in - 4
10:21 - They still haven't noticed Goldblum. WTF is wrong with these noobs? I'm pretty steamed at this point.
10:25 - Cairdean Vineyards/2012 California Riesling - this one is very sweet. I discovered that I like sweet whites. I make a joke about liking my women like I like my wine. Brian, being a sweet, white woman, laughs at my joke because she's learned to tolerate me with the best of them.
10:37 - After deliberating with her lovely (and I mean lovely) mother on what's next, Brian brings me three different white wines. She sits there and patiently explains them all to me. I drink all three and they taste exactly the same. She then points out what was different in each one, upon which I realized that... oh, they still taste the same. White wine is for lil bitches.
Drinks in - 8
10:45 - My world is starting to spin a bit. Brian's words fall on deaf ears, bless her heart. Still, she's here to do a job, and she's the kind of person that will stick around until the job is done, even if the job requires her to babysit a large, loud, drunk, amazing, admirable man with remarkably soft hands and a penchant for line dancing. Is it weird that I'm falling in love with myself just writing this? Naaaaah.
10:47 - Brian's sister keeps calling to ask stupid questions. I keep answering and giving her stupid answers, because it bothers her and entertains me. Also, she once took my hot dog directly out of my hand and stared at me while she ate it. We hate Nichola.
10:49 - Brian continues to tell me what kinds of wine I'm trying. Unfortunately, I stopped listening three Rieslings ago because the homely looking woman working at the deli is starting to give off some serious "sex my body parts" vibes. One minute baby girl, I'll roast your beef sandwich once I'm done being the best at wine things. Goldblum is yet to be appreciated, I still boil with fury on the inside. If Goldblum were here right now, he'd be SO offended.
Drinks in - 9
10:56 - Brian retrieves three more glasses of wine, all of them red. The first one she hands me is a Pinot Noir. Brian informs me that I am supposed to go from lighter to heavier, but I'm a drunk ass, so rules get thrown out of the window. I swap sexy glances with the unlovely girl at the deli counter, then make my way towards her, walking slightly slower than normal so as to intensify the already intense sexual pressure in the room. I reach the counter and see her cheeks go rosy while she withdraws into herself, rocking ever so slightly in such an innocent way. I lean in closely, slowly, and with a cracked, crooked smile, I say, "Let me get the French dip please, and leave the pickle out of this. I swear to God, Ronni, if I see a pickle touching my sandwich, I will set your dog on fire."
11:01 - Ronni's dog lives to see another day, which is unfortunate for the rest of us, since she has an English terrier and those things look like deformed feet. Furthermore, any love between Ronni and I is lost forever now. I don't have time for women and love, friggin' Ron. There are wines that need to be drankded. Still, at least the Ronster noticed Goldblum, friggin' Brian and friggin' Brian's mom. Alright, back to the grape pee.
Drinks in - 10
11:02 - I take a sip of the Merlot and then try to describe it to Brian. Every answer I've come up with, throughout the entire day, has apparently been wrong, except for my declaration of watery Italians. It's at this point that I realize that, alas, I can never be a wine connoisseur like Brian. My taste buds are too simple, there are only ever two options: good and not good. So far, everything I've tried, on average, is pretty good (ok fine, three options, shut up). Brian's mom is making sure no shitty wines are chosen. She is the hero I need but don't deserve.
Drinks in - 11
11:07 - I've gotten to the point where chugging wine seems to be the only reasonable option. I mean, it's 11 AM. We're basically the only people here right now. Even Ronni is looking at me going, "He's probably breathtakingly talented in bed, but he sure is a slow drinker." Oh yeah, Ronni? I'll show you, you dick.
11:08 - I am now chugging my last wine of the day. Brian doesn't even bother trying to teach me about it, she knows it's a lost cause at this point. I start loudly proclaiming to everyone there that, "I'm a Somalian! Ask me anything about wine, I know it all. What? Somalia? No, I don't know anything about Somalia, why? Is that one of Obama's daughters or something?"
11:09 - Still no word on my Goldblum shirt. I even took a picture with Brian and she still has no idea. I'm honestly so done with these people.
Final drink count - 12
11:12 - We reach the end of our journey. I would stay and continue drinking, but I have shit to do today. Stranger Things isn't gonna get super baked, make some cookies, and binge watch itself. As we walk out of OC Wine Mart, I stop in my tracks and look back at Ronni. I crease my eyebrows, stare directly into her eyes and I mouth, "YOU did this." She knows what she did. I don't, at all, because I'm drunk and making no sense at this point, but she knows.
If you ever read about the time I got drunk at work and got away with it, you probably realize by now that there's a trend forming: I get drunk in peculiar ways or places then write about it. Who knows where I'll end up next?