Welcome to Wineshaming 101. Today we will learn the best ways to counteract wineshaming — you know, when friends, family and pushy acquaintances mock your dubious drinking habits.
I myself have been the victim of wineshaming, due to my undisguised addiction to butter and oak in Chardonnay. There are those who refer to this wine as FC, and I’m just going to pretend that means “Fantastic Chardonnay.” This is how you deflect a hater. Also, you can pour your buttery, oaky FC on their laps, but that would be a terrible waste of delicious Chardonnay.
Here are the most common forms of wineshaming and how to divert your attackers:
You prefer sweet wine. Look, we get it. You’re young. You don’t have the hours, the days, the weeks, the decades of wine experience that the rest of us have. So you defend your affection for that pink liquid from Barefoot. Here’s your strategy: If we complain someone gave us a bottle of Moscato for our birthdays, offer to dispose of it for us. We’ll be happy because we can’t bear wasted wine. Win win.
You don’t rinse your glass between wines. Remind your tormentor that you are not at the Judgment of Paris circa 1976 and that the drop of inexpensive red blend you just tried is not going to radically affect the cheap Rioja that’s up next at the Total Wine afternoon tasting.
You drink wine from a screw-top bottle. Because many reputable wines come with screw-tops now, drinking them is 100 percent acceptable and whoever’s picking on you should know this. Just give them the side eye and say, “I prefer my wine without cork taint.” That will stun them into silence.
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You drink wine from a can. Slightly less acceptable than the screw-top, but you can finesse it by busting out a mention of Hans Gruner from Field Recordings in California. It’s Gruner Veltliner in a can that references Alan Rickman’s villainous Hans Gruber in “Die Hard.” Everybody likes “Die Hard” because it is amazing, and this wine isn’t half bad.
You drink box wine. The rule here is simple. If you like box wine, drink it and stand tall. However, if you attempt to pour it for guests without informing them and get caught? You must meekly accept all the grief heading your way, and there will be a lot if I’m visiting.
You drink wine from a jug. Who are you, my mother in 1975? The same rules apply here: Like it? Drink it. But if you pour jug wine into my glass without warning me, the punishment is DEATH. I mean merciless teasing. One of those things.
You drink rosé. The real question isn’t why you’re drinking rosé — or “summer water,” as that wise sage Madonna calls it. The real question is why your heckler isn’t.
You drink merlot. There is absolutely nothing wrong with merlot. Repeat after me: “That was just a device Alexander Payne used in ‘Sideways’ for metaphorical purposes. By the way, ‘Bottle Shock’ is a better movie about wine anyway.”
You drink wine at the wrong temperature. Are your whites too cold? Your reds too warm? Probably. Temperature can really affect the way a wine tastes, but you can fix this. Here are some handy tips from Wine Spectator: Serve whites slightly warmer, reds slightly cooler. Boom! No more teasing.
You buy wine at CVS. Listen, there are perfectly good wines at CVS, plus it’s on your way home from work and sometimes you get a discount with your membership card and a break for buying four bottles at a time. Also you can pick up a bag of chips for dinner at the same time.
You drink wine coolers. Sorry, there’s no defending this. You’re on your own.