LIKE polished mahogany or elbow patches, wine instantly evokes class.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a beverage that could give wine a run for its money in the longevity department. (Bacchus is the Greek god of wine. Who’s the god of Jager? Exactly.) But for all of wine’s tried-and-true prestige, good things are best enjoyed in moderation. Too many elbow patches, and you’ll get grilled everywhere you go about 18th-century British poetry by the masses who mistake you for a distinguished classics professor. Similarly, too much wine and you’ll find yourself waking up next to a self-proclaimed club promoter/entrepreneur stroking his ponytail and no recollection of how you got there.
YOU’VE DEVELOPED A FINELY-HONED PALETTE FOR SUPER-TRASHY VINTAGES
It used to be that you were lucky to distinguish between red and white (and don’t even get me started with rosés — what sorcery is that?). Now you’re all about cabs versus merlots and the intricacies of zinfandels. While choosing a bottle used to be an insurmountable chore, now you’re a veritable connoisseur, if veritable connoisseurs hang out in the two-buck chuck aisle of Trader Joe’s. (They don’t.) Previously, your go-to vino used to be “whatever’s cheapest.” Now your go-to vino is still “whatever’s cheapest,” but you swear there’s a marked difference between bargain blends. Congratulations, you’re now arguing that not all watered-down grape dregs taste the same.
CHOCOLATE, CHEESE, AND COITUS JUST AREN’T THE SAME
Foods you used to enjoy — smoked gouda, Doritos — are somehow inadequate when not washed down with a glass or four of 2012 Chardonnay. Sober Netflix binges and date nights alike are pale husks of their wine-soaked counterparts, and you find yourself struggling to recall what exactly it is that you like about The Walking Dead or your boyfriend when they aren’t filtered through a flattering purple haze. With the help of wine, they’re a thoughtful examination of humanity’s extraordinary will to survive and a captivating, handsome individual, respectively. Without your rosé-colored glasses, they’re a pandering bloodbath and a dude who can’t remember to carry his dishes to the sink.
YOUR IDEA OF DECOR HAS BECOME ALARMINGLY WINE-CENTRIC
Remember the days when you used to scour antique fairs and garage sales for the perfect vase? You were a walking Pinterest board! Now you simply rummage around your stash of empty bottles for the least moldy one, stick some daffodils in it, and call it a day. One bottle-turned-vase on a kitchen table is borderline-cute in a Parisian café sort of way. A house full of wine-scented wilting bouquets is just kind of depressing. When your friends side-eye your DIY decor, you get defensive and make some vague claim of creative up-cycling, but deep down you know the truth. Your recycling bins are overflowing and you can’t think of anything else to do with your collection of Sutter Home bottles.
YOU FEEL AN AFFINITY WITH PEOPLE YOU’D OTHERWISE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON WITH
What do suburban housewives and 14th-century feudal lords have in common? Well, a ruthless, all-consuming desire to be monarch of all they survey, for one. But also an affinity for the grape…just like you! Since you’ve spiraled into your current state of borderline-wino you share knowing, charitable looks with everyone in the same tipsy boat. Hello there, gossipy old ladies at a church-sponsored happy hour! I see you, man on park bench clutching your brown paper bag! Regardless of the disparity in your circumstances, you feel a deep kinship with your fellow day-drinkers and relate to the lyrics of that sappy Michale Jackson ditty in ways you never could before. We are the world, we are the children, etc. Now pass the bottle.
YOU NOW FASHION YOUR THOUGHTS IN TERMS OF BIZARRE WINE LABEL DESCRIPTIONS
“Cashmere. Charades. Steaks on the grill.” This progression of random, unrelated words is taken directly from the word-vomit blurb on the side of your run-of-the-mill wine bottle. I don’t need to persuade you of its authenticity because you yourself have seen even more ridiculous attempts to evoke late-summer evening rapture, dubiously imagined by wine manufacturers. Although your drinking scenarios could more accurately be summed up as “Sweat pants. Facebook-Stalking Your Ex. Despair.” Or alternatively, on slightly-less bleak nights, “Spanx. Pre-gaming With Early-2000s Hip Hop. Taco Bell.” You nonetheless cling to the fancy-free images your eternal-optimist bottle offers you. After all, you’ve always been a glass half full kind of person… OK, fine, actually fill it up all the way.