Hello. I’ve been busy having a quarter-life crisis; a mellow drama many of my fellow millennials understand painfully well, hence my hiatus. In keeping with total transparency, my free time has gone to an activity I like to call “Netflix and Existential Dread”, in which I use Shonda Rimes to forget my own mediocrity. I went to Vegas for a conference in October which seemed to bring me out of the oh-shit-I’m-almost-30-wtf funk. The hotel lobby alone knocked me out of reality with it’s cloying cigarette smoke and free booze. I sat there, pretending to play slots, and drinks appeared. Weak ones, but still free. The people watching was obviously the best activity. Folks from all over America and beyond shed their boring, everyday selves for shinier, bejeweled versions. Let’s be real though- those bejewels are shit plastic and made of lies . So is “Adult Disney World”. Look too closely, and the facade fades, revealing a depressing reality. This happens after about 48 hours for normal people, but if you’re me, it happens in 5 minutes. Forget the tourists…I couldn’t handle the dealers who had no one at their tables, staring off in the distance. I needed to know their life stories and happiness levels.
I only lost $14 gambling so I consider this trip a win. I kept to a regimen of Bombay Sapphire, club soda, and extra limes as the wine selection at casinos was dismal (Jacob’s Creek swill) and good wine fell outside the limits of my per diem. Side note: everyone needs a job that involves conferences. They give you free swag and happy hours. And nightclub parties with open bars. Speaking of open bar, be careful if you ask for Champagne…you might get Korbel. #displeased #stilldancedonatable #worklifebalance #blessed
Besides going to Vegas and drinking a lot of wine since November 8th (read: THE APOCALYPSE OH SHIT WE ARE GOING DOWN), I’ve been trying to Instagram my wine picks regularly so my faithful peasants have access to my genius selections. I promise only one was over $22 and that was the bombass Barolo we drank during the final presidential debate. Insert muffled sobs.
November 7th, 2016:
November 8th, 2016:
We’re less than 2 weeks away from Christmas. How did this happen? I still feel like it’s July…but that’s probably my crisis talking. Anyway, as we prep for visitors or travel, a substantial wine inventory is vital to survival. I’m talking minimum 12 bottles (A FULL CASE PLEIBS) during Christmas week. You don’t have to drink it all (I mean you will), but you’ll feel like a champion if you can go to your secret basement wine corner and make a choice from a well-stocked cellar. You’re a majestic sultan with complete autonomy. Escape the family election drama for 5 ,10,89 minutes, and like a phoenix, you will rise.
Today, I’ll be sharing a few top picks you’ll be able to afford despite the financial shit-storm most of us experience after buying gifts. Pregame the Christmas Eve service? You bet. I’ll be the one with rosy cheeks, singing the alto line extra loud during “Hark the Herald” while ugly crying. It gets me every time, damnit.
Don’t hate because these are all on Insta. I’m getting my life back.
Siegal Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Chile always delivers. For $18, this is worth buying 2-3 bottles. It be hard to find since my local store just sold out, but really any Chilean cab from Colchagua Valley or Maipo regions will suffice nicely. With it’s black cherry, vanilla, and gentle smokiness, this 14% alcohol cab delivers a nice buzz after half a glass as long as you haven’t eaten your feelings yet. Decant for 20-30 minutes and drink with those little crockpot meatballs and gritted teeth.
Domaine Fabrice Gasnier “Les Graves” 2014: If you’re not aboard the Cab Franc trend train, you’re missing out. A lighter red, it’s a great alternative to Pinot Noir, especially if your husband is subhuman and hates it. (Love youuuuuuu). It’s fine, I’ll drink my Pinot alone secretly out of a coffee mug whilst everyone else slums with the inevitable Yellowtail. Merry Christmas to me from the Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Anyway, Dom. Fabrice Gasnier’s “Les Graves” hails from Chinon (Loire Valley, France), aka the Cab Franc promised land, and is hella delicious…like raspberries rolled around in a nice herby salad, and, dare I say, eucalyptus undertones. Pull that out at the table, and the climate change debate will magically transform into a praise-fest of your impeccable wine knowledge. $16.99!
Remhoogte Estate Pinotage 2014: I’m a Pinotage slut. It is so so so good for so so so little money. For under $20, Remhoogte Pinotage from Stellenbosch delivers the punch of a $40-50 bottle of Bordeaux or big CA red. Different grapes, but still full bodied and perfect for #WinterisComing aka anytime you might need booze in the next 10 days. In case you were wondering, Pinotage is genetically engineered child of Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Let it sit in the decanter for 30-60 minutes and it goes from Julia Roberts blond wig stripper in Pretty Woman to Julia Roberts fancy escort of rich business man stripper.
Aromas of cherries, mulberries, smoke, cinnamon sticks, and cloves, this is a nice one to drink as you bake delectables with their ensuing perfumes. All this can be yours for around $17.99. PSA: Do not eat sweets and drink this. We are not heathens. Get yourself a damn dessert wine.
Cap Classique Colmant Brut Rose: Also from South Africa, this amazing sparkler is best paired with My 600 lb Life to make you feel less bad about eating pie for breakfast. At around $20, this tastes like Champagne with a little Southern Hemisphere “je ne sais quoi”. Strawberry and red currants dominate, yet there’s a silky texture and bready aftertaste. Made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, buy a case of this and save some for New Year’s Eve. If you party like me, you’ll start drinking at 5pm and fall asleep by 9:30pm…because 2016 sucked so bad, I don’t care about staying awake for the last damn minute of it. #bye
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy all other Holidays, Happy End of the Worst Year in Recent History.
See you in 2017, peasants.*
*Disclaimer: I know 2016 has been terrible. These posts are meant solely in jest, but if you or someone you know may have a problem with alcohol, please visit www.aa.org to find help. Enjoy the wine, but not in excess, and have Happy Holidays.