Jolly Ranchers And Shame: A Guide to Wine Pairing

It all started when I got invited to a wine party. “Wine!” I thought, agreeing immediately. I love everything about wine…except for the fact that it’s not bourbon. Still, it has a very real place in my kitchen; usually in a box on the counter by the fridge. Throw in a designated driver and a wine party sounded like nothing but good times.

Except not so much.

You ever get invited to a party that’s not really a party at all, but actually a “super fun” sales pitch? I don’t go to these. If there’s the faintest whiff of somebody trying to sell me something, I panic and hide under the bed. I realize this is a normal aspect of everyday life, and many people enjoy these tupper/jewelry/candle parties, but it doesn’t work for me. Call it my own personal social anxiety disorder, but I cannot deal with sales people. Possibly because I’m related to so many of them. Possibly because I’m in marketing. Hell, even watching Gil Gunderson makes me uncomfortable.

Fun fact about me: I respond to discomfort by becoming a toddler. A hilarious toddler.

As soon as I walked in the door and was greeted by a chipper lady in a branded apron, I knew I’d been tricked. The only reason I didn’t immediately claim dysentery and bolt was because the party still had the word wine in it. Also, I wasn’t exactly driving, so to run for it would have meant knocking down my friend and stealing her car. Anyway I’ll be shot dead before I buy a $30 scented candle, but how bad could a wine party be?

I suppose that depends very much on just how bad the wine is.  SO bad.

So in a room full of normal people enjoying microscopic pours from the “Paris to You: Wine Club for Lonely Housewives who Don’t Like Wine,” I did this:

wine tasting


I wasn’t even mad about the tiny glasses, I just wished I’d brought a flask. Or some actual wine. At one point I was told that the wine was so special, and so perfect, that it really needed to be consumed within a few months of purchase. Because really quality wine, by a really quality FRENCH wine maker, wouldn’t keep well.

They kept saying the guy in charge was French. I kept picturing:

The Crepes of Wrath episode

I did not buy any wine. Frankly if I wanted to drink rebottled Strawberry Hill I would just rebottle it my damn self in one of the many fine bottles I have in my recycling bin.

14 thoughts on “Jolly Ranchers And Shame: A Guide to Wine Pairing

  1. What kind of friend would not tell you upfront that there would be a sales pitch? Also, you would think that serving you generous amounts of alcohol might loosen the purse strings…just saying.

  2. Hilarious! I got rooked into attending a candle party a friend was hosting and they actually had a form to fill out asking what your occupation was, allegedly so they could better understand your lifestyle and candle requirements and not because they wanted to know if you could afford $30 for a scented candle. Wine at this party was being served in big glasses, so I wrote down that I was a neurosurgeon (I am not). No one could figure out why the candle lady was calling me Dr. Hernandez and why I was answering. I won the drawing for the doorprize, which I am sure she rigged to make the doctor happy. She was NOT amused when my joke was revealed, and I think she wanted to put her 17 wick, smokeless vanilla mango wheatgrass candle out on my forehead.

  3. Is it bad that the fact you listed “Lindsay Lohan” in the notes of the Merlot makes me want to try it?? I was under the impression that wine was good and can’t be THAT much of a train wreck… Perhaps I’ll just be blissful in my ignorance and avoid it.

  4. You know whats worse? If you have artist friends who constantly invite you to gallery shows, and dance things etc as a creative trap. You show up, get begged for money, or handed a camera etc to help out and they point out the free booze. OK 2-Buck-Chuck is not a fair method of compensation. It’s not even good wine, even though people still claim it is. These people have the palates of stray dogs. Good wine is not $24 bucks a case for Pete’s sake. Oh sure they will have a bottle of Jack and some beer, but that ship will sail in the first half hour, then it’s Chuckie’s party. Sorry rant over.

  5. It is not unusual to encounter people who are stuck in an era. It is easier to understand than to sympathize with but it is downright unsettling to come across an entire town that is stuck in the 1970’s. We went to a party in such a place. At first I thought it was a Twilight Zone themed affair – but when they served Boone’s Farm wine, I had to tell them that I only drank beer, ’cause like wine is for chicks’.

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