I don’t know when my love affair with Chardonnay started, when she first whispered her enticing siren song in my ear. Possibly in college, although my main drink of choice in college was vodka and lemon-lime Crystal Light, followed by the cheap beer at beer blasts (fundraisers for frats in downtown bars) because, well, it was cheap. Sure, there were a few nights of Bacardi 151 with wine cooler chasers, but that was more opportunity than an assignation. And during my semester in Britain I had a delicious fling with Snakebites (lager and cider)…sometimes in the deepest darkest night, I crave you, dear Snakebites.
Chardonnay, though, she’s been my lover for many, many years. Crisp, dry, and seductively cheap in a box. In fact, I’ve said for as long as I can remember that red wine gives me migraines—unless it’s the house red served in a carafe in restaurants in Italy. Lately, though, I’ve been reading about the benefits of red, and I started to research. In a posh wine shop in Ojai, I asked the experts why red wine would do that, and how to prevent it.
Sulfites, they said with conviction, and sold me a bottle of organic no-sulfites-added red from a local winery housed at an estate designed by Greene and Greene. Well, shit, how could I not fall in love with that? I mean, it thematically goes with my house.
Two reasons, alas: One, it was a mix of two things (Merlot and…crap, something else), which was nice but not to my taste; and two, from research online, I’m given to understand that whites have more sulfites than reds. O.o On the plus side, though, I polished the bottle off over two nights and had nary a headache in sight.
So, fine, fuck it. I girded my loins, took a deep breath, and hauled home a box of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dudes…I like it. And even better? No migraines. And even better than that? Because it’s richer/heavier/whatever pretentious wine description word fits here, I drink less of it. I savor it, sip it, nurse it. I don’t love it as much as I love my dark muse Chardonnay, but I’m happy with it.
Here’s the weirdest thing, though: I feel more grown-up drinking it.
What the hell does that mean?