If wine were banned, I’d buy it on the street

If you watch old movies, you know that reporters gather at their favorite watering hole after a hard day’s work. My uncle was an old-time reporter and he told me stories about watering holes while we dined on steaks and Jim Beam at the nearest watering hole to his house.

Today’s fru-fru reporters probably don’t go to watering holes except when they need to talk to sources. Otherwise, they’ve moved past Jim Bean to crates of Pappy Old Van Winkle that they have shipped to their houses. If you order a shot of this stuff at a bar, you’ll need a handful of Krugerrands.

Most writers drink booze because booze calls the muse. However, I think it’s likely that the fru-fru reporters at certain networks and newspapers (that I don’t plan to name here) drink out of endemic remorse that occurs when you sell your soul to a corporation with a political agenda that takes precedence over facts.

Those of us who write novels tend to drink more wine because once the muse shows up, it helps to remain sober and awake. Wine, then, is an essential writer’s tool even though the people running the MFA scams won’t tell you this. A cardinal rule of publishing is the better the wine, the better the book–or, at least, the better promotional effort the writer will receive from reviewers, PR flaks who used to drink Jim Beam at watering holes, and readers in general.

I feel sorry for the authors who had to write during prohibition. Many of them probably became bootleggers just to feed their families. My problem and I need your advice on this, is would it help me or hurt me if I ran a crowdfunding campaign to help me buy better wine?

Right now, I’m drinking Gallo wine which I buy in 55-gallon drums. At least I’m not buying wine in a box with a faucet on the side of it. Seriously, is it asking too much to at least try to move up to Sutter Home?

Even though I think inventing white zinfandel was a bad mistake–partly because it’s pushing real zinfandel off the shelves–their dark reds aren’t too bad. No, they’re not Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, but I’ll have to outsell James Patterson before I can buy wine in a 750 ml bottle for $85.

I’m just brainstorming the wine crowdfunding plan right now, so if any of you want to send me a few magnum bottles of Sutter Home Zinfandel (dark red!) to get in on the ground floor of my writer’s improvement program, I’ll consider making you a character in my next novel. (Anyone who sends anything other than red except the cough syrup tasting merlot, will probably get murdered on page one.)

So, do I launch a crowdfunding campaign or can y’all promise to send enough quality wine so I won’t have to?

Malcolm

Just think, if you’d sent me some quality wine a year ago, you could be one of the KKK-fighting heroes in “Fate’s Arrows.”

When it comes to wine, I’m probably drinking cheap swill

Whether you buy your wine at the gas station, the grocery store, or an upscale booze emporium, you know that–other than those disgusting boxes with faucets on them–most wine comes in the a 750 ml (standard) bottle and a 1.5 L magnum bottle.

After the harvest. Wikipedia artwork.

Other than an occasional glass of scuppernong wine, I drink nothing but red wines: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Shiraz, and Cabernet Savauginon. I don’t drink Merlot because it tastes like the original Vick’s Formula 44 from my childhood, nor do I drink Port because it just tastes gosh awful.

But, I digress. I buy wine in the 1.5 L size because the standard 750 ml bottles are (according to me) a rip off and environmentally irresponsible. That is, two of them usually cost more than one 1.5 L bottle. So, I’m paying for extra glass. What a waste.

What tells me I’m drinking swill is the fact that wine clubs and other forms of advertising are telling me what a good deal it is for me to buy (from them) a 750 ml bottle of whatever for, say, $15 to $25 dollars. Excuse me. I don’t even pay that much for a 1.5 L bottle.

The 1.5 L bottles of red wine that I normally buy sell from about $8 to $12 dollars. So, telling me that half as much wine at twice the cost is not going to get my attention. I’m sure those with refined tastes can probably list all the aromas and influences in every glass of wine they drink while being able to identify whether it’s Shiraz or Zinfandel with their eyes closed.

I’m grateful that my tastes are less-well defined because, while I appreciate the complex makeups of various wines, I don’t need them any more than I need coffee from Starbucks where one cup costs more than I spend in a week when making coffee at home. (My favorite restaurant coffee is what I get at Waffle House, so that probably tells you all you need to know about how much I’m willing to pay for something to drink.)

I remember the “old days” when cigarettes were starting to get expensive and people were figuring out just how much a person spent on tobacco every year if they smoked one, two, or three packs a day. I feel that way about wine and coffee. I want it to taste good, but I seriously don’t see the point of paying more per year than my house is worth just so I can brag about and show off my favorite premium brands.

However, what I would like wineries and wine distributors to do is stop selling those puny 750 ml bottles as standard. They are a waste of money when you consider how much packaging is in them compared to the larger bottles. This argument ought to appeal to those who drink swill and to those who buy wine at $100 per bottle.

Malcolm