Know what my favorite thing to do is? Bet you can guess at this point! Receiving gifts? Well, yes. Getting fanned by pool boys? Why, of course. Eating stupidly decadent tasting menus at luxury restaurants across the globe and then writing about it to make you wildly jealous? Oh, definitely. But my very favorite thing to do has to be (you guessed it) drinking wine. And the only thing better than drinking wine is getting to drink it with my crazy-pretty friends. Or crazy and pretty. Mostly just crazy.
The Buzz (remember her?) has taken it upon herself to make lists of all the things I should be writing about, because she knows what an unimaginative procrastinator I can be, and because I think secretly she’s campaigning to be my new publicist. But regardless, that crazy blonde’s got some good ideas. She decided that instead of wandering aimlessly through wine shops and liquor stores like the cast from Sex and the Pissed Up City, we should narrow down and actually remember our favorite wines for next time. See, the problem is, us girls know we’ve got expensive taste, and we’re convinced that, like a good pair of heels, delicious wines should cost more. And know what? That’s super judgey of us. Because, according to the grapevine (pun, son!) there are some cheap-o wines out there that are in fact quite lovely and perfectly drinkable without breaking the bank. It was time for a little investigatin’.
We each brought two wines of our choosing, ranging from the Jessica Lange range ($30-$50) to the Jessica Simpson range ($8-$15), covered up the bottles, and labeled each wine by number. And then, notepad at the ready, we started tasting. Now, keep in mind that cost is going to be subjective, because the mark-ups and taxes on wines in Canada makes things a wee bit more expensive than say your average wine shopping binge at Ralph’s in the US of A, but the point of doing this was to see just what a highbrow well-known name could mean in terms of the actual taste of the wine. Meaning, just cuz it’s labeled gold doesn’t mean it is. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Picking up what I’m putting down?
Naturally, the best part of this little experiment was getting to read the girls’ notes on the wines the next day. And with eight wines to taste, you can imagine just how colourful those notes got. Here’s the big reveal, complete with thoughts, notes, and anecdotes from the blind drunks I mean pretty girls (disclaimer: we are in no way shape or form professional wine aficionados, and holy heck does it show):
Buzz (my hilarious/sentimental wife): “Acidic, sweet, like a riesling. The color’s kinda like pee from a dehydrated person. But it grows on you! I think I’m already drunk.”
Becky (my fiercely loyal/tough on the outside and mushy on the inside wife): “NO. Too crisp, too much acidity, dry as f**k. NO.”
Jenny (my witty/wild streak/won’t stop texting her new boyfriend wife): “Too sweet? No, too much oak. Ew. This makes me feel uncomfortable.”
Sam (my practical/easy-going wife): “Chardonnay? Acidic. Pineapple-y. Too oaky. Smelly.”
Me (known as “frisky wife” and you may take what you will from that): “This tastes like cheap wine served at my dad’s favorite bar. So, familiar?”
Buzz: “Dry but sweet, like me! Thinking this would be easy on the digestive system.” <takes up entire page on notepad drawing a happy face>
Becky: “Still too crisp and too much acid. Just OK. I mean, if it was the last bottle, I’d drink it.”
Jenny: “This one’s mine for sure. Amazing. Of course.”
Sam: “I likey! It’s crisp. I’d drink a whole glass.”
Me: “Familiar, beautiful. Like an old love.”
Buzz: “BBQ RIBS! Beatnickin’ bushwackin’ country folk! Who won the lottery! Maybe a cab franc? This deserves seconds!” <pours more>
Becky: “Peppery, dry, definitely feel it in your nose. Needs to be paired with food.”
Jenny: “Red of some kind?” <yeah, Jen, it’s red. Good guess.> “Peppery. Not in love.” <continues texting>
Sam: “I finished my glass. Need seconds. It’s so yum!” <Sam’s tipsy.>
Me: “Meaty and heavy duty, maybe a wine to have with a spaghetti bolognese. A fine Italian gentleman who will take care of you and let you live in his villa in Tuscany. I could love him.”
Buzz: “Gotta be a Pinot Noir! Like chocolate. A before sex wine! Oh, what the hell, I’d get a refill after, too!” <not making this up>
Becky: “Pinot Noir? Rasberry, light bodied, like a red velvet cake. This would be so good with dark chocolate.”
Jenny: “I like me some number four. This a chianti?” <resumes texting>
Sam: “Pinot. A good wine with dark chocolate, maybe.” <She and Becky may be long-lost sisters. Seriously. They both have red hair.>
Me: “A fruity Pinot Noir. Gorgeous, pretty, oh so nice!” <In case you couldn’t tell, I get super affectionate when I’m buzzed.)
Buzz: “What number are we on?!”
Becky: <to no one in particular> “Simply lovely, just like you!”
Jenny: “Pinot Noir. I think this is mine. Of course it’s good.”
Sam: “Where are we going after this?”
Me: “Really sweet, kinda gross. This tastes cheap. I’m so sorry, number 5!” <finishes it anyway>
Buzz: “This tastes like barf.”
Becky: “Estimating this at $21.99. Peppery and dry, dry, dry. I’d drink it only after midnight when I was good and loaded.”
Jenny: “After Cindy said this tasted like barf, it tasted like barf. Thanks, Cindy.”
Sam: “This isn’t good. Someone take Jen’s goddamn phone away.”
Me: “Really dry. This wine needs food. The supermodel of wines!”
Buzz: “Yeah, SON!” <pours a full glass of #4>
Becky: “A chianti? Lots of blackberry. Might be good with fish. Omega 3’s! I’m so f**ckin hungry.”
Jenny: “Smoky and dry. Too big for me.” <texts>
Sam: “Jen. Seriously.”
Me: “I love this! Luscious! Beautiful! Too good to be true! I’d marry this one!”
Buzz: “OOOOOHHH LET THE JAMESON SINK IN I’LL DRINK TO THAT, YEAHHHEEEEYEAH!”
Becky: “This is amazing. I’d drink this shit for lunch.”
Jenny: “Crispy! Fresh! Pinot Blanc? Jewel’s face is pinot blanc!” <laughs hysterically, goes back to texting>
Sam: “Seriously, are we going out after this? I think I need to go home.”
Me: “Oooooo, an amazing romantic summer spent on a yacht in the south of France! I’m in love!”
(I think it’s safe to say our palates weren’t even equipped to taste that wine….)
So what did we make of this experiment, besides the fact that we’re a lot of fun to hang out with? Well, I dunno. But it sure was fun.
I think the best and only way to do this would be by varietal, meaning a blind tasting of just chardonnays, or pinots, or scotch. It would really be the only way to make it fair and truly judge whether pricey equals better. But sadly, although I wanted to prove a point, it looks as though the more our wines cost, usually the better they were. So, the moral of this story? We’re snobs.
Stay tuned for the other experiments on Buzz’s list, like us clowns going to cooking school. I’m serious.