Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Like so many before me, I love food. I love everything about it. For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed reading cookbooks, menus, even passages in books that describe food. I even find that a little weird myself.

I also tend to float more towards the finer things in life. I have always wanted to be one of those wives who throw fabulous dinner parties for all of the couple friends, full of wines and platters heaped with exotic cheeses and grapes and then finally some monstrous crown rack of lamb.

One thing stands in my way.

(Well, actually more than one, but only one is relevant to this story.)

I am alcoholically challenged. Either that or liquorly retarded.

There I said it. I’m Darci and I am alcoholically challenged.

Hi, Darci.

I know certain wines are supposed to pair with certain dishes. I know all sorts of wine names; Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir. I even know how to pronounce them, which is something to boast about if you live where I live. I know of cities famous for winemaking. I know, if not just have a good idea, what a sommelier does.

Unfortunately, I just can’t manage to bring myself to pair wine at home or even drink it at a restaurant. Shamefully, in public I prefer something classic or one of those brazenly slutty mixed drinks that are so colorful and tasty. The kind that men are tormented for ordering, and, perhaps equally shamefully for my husband, the kind that he now enjoys because of me.

I have always wanted an excuse to buy wine glass charms. I guess that’s so my imaginary dinner party guests won’t get their imaginary glasses of Chardonnay mixed up while they’re mingling and eating shards of Stilton.

I know that different wines require different glasses in polite society. I even have both kinds of said stemware, albeit fewer since I moved in with my husband and he started washing dishes. And oddly, when the first glass broke, with it shattered my heart. Partially because now I had an odd number of glasses, but also because I just love my wine glasses.

I subscribe to Food and Wine magazine and feel I’m somehow cheating not only myself but F&W and their staff. The reason for this is that I simply cannot bring myself to read the articles about wine or, as the magazine’s website home touts today, America’s Best Regional Beers. And if I do give in to my guilt and begin reading one of these articles it somehow just won’t appeal to me and then I feel even worse.

When speaking out loud of my problem I blame it on the disappointing wine selection in this region of the country. Or that I can’t afford to go around buying multiple bottles of wine all the time. I could not use that as a reason, though, if I actually drank the wine; it would seem worth it.

My husband is the Master of Meat Grilling. He knows all there is to know about beef and the cooking thereof. We cannot even bring ourselves to order steak in restaurants because they just aren’t as good as what my honey can do at home. Once that gorgeously browned piece of meat, complete with the accompanying much sought after diamond shaped grill marks, is placed on the table I can’t help but wonder what wine is supposed to go with it. Even if I did know it wouldn’t matter because we will not have it at hand. I, then with shoulders slumped, opt for whatever might be in the refrigerator.

As my husband polishes off a can of Coke, I pour my own beverage into my glass.

Mountain Dew in a champagne flute.

What can I say? I’m pregnant. I can’t even HAVE alcohol right now.

(This was not written recently, just so you know. Just in case, some of you out there have a pool going to see when I’ll announce my next pregnancy.)

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