The Blind Leading the Drunken Blind


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?

Buzz opens Booze


Booze in a Bag-- we be hobos!


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):

#1- Naked Grape Chardonnay (retail $9.49)


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?”


#2- 2009 Twisted Tree Marsanne Roussanne (retail: $21.90)


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.”


#3- 2009 Prospect Winery Regatta #1 (retail: $17.95)


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.”


#4- 2008 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir (retail: $21)


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.)


#5- Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon (retail: $21.99)


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>


#6- 2009 Cecchi Chianti Classico (retail: $12.90)


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!”


#7- 2007 Nipozzano Riserva Chianti (retail: $24.99)


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!”


#8- 2007 Bourgogne Chardonnay (retail: $30)



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.




38 Comments Add yours

  1. John S says:

    That was great! Thanks for sharing, as always.

  2. Jill says:

    Your hair is really dark! I like it!

    You leave the “p” out of raspberry a lot.

    You’re so funny!

    (See, it’s a compliment sandwich)

  3. Jeb says:


  4. dovil says:

    There is a respectable lack of vomit in the last photo considering the amount of wine bottles littering the table; congratulations! And Kim Crawford, yay! You can pick up a bottle on special at the supermarket for about NZ$12, which is about a piece of string and broken pen in Canadian currency. I’m not a big lover of Chardonnay but their unoaked one isn’t half bad, ie. you’ll get drunk without eye twitching and full body shuddering through the bottle.

    If you can get a hold of The Edge Pinot Noir that’s a very tasty drop. Have you guys tried Malbec and Gewürztraminer? I’m working on the assumption that everyone has exactly the same tastebuds as I do, but in the unlikely event that you haven’t tried it, give in to stranger internet peer pressure and give it a whirl. You won’t regret it…at least not until the next morning.

  5. James says:

    You know, when I was younger, I got it into my head that wine was just so much spoiled grape juice. After reading this, I think maybe I just had some bad wine and perhaps I need to reevaluate that opinion. Thank you.

  6. Eeel says:

    Would you ever consider hanging with a not-so-pretty but crazy girlfriend? Some of us geekgirls love wine and good food too…

  7. Downwind Tracker says:

    I like your hair dark too. Unfortunately, the top comes off my head (painful) when I drink wine and I go all cow shit. Clear clean spirits are my vice. Do, however, love the writing and getting to know the posse.

  8. Andrew says:

    Glad to see you back.

  9. Martin says:

    This would make a great game show…

  10. Bernie says:

    LOL! That was awesome! I hope you guys do a tasting of tequila next

  11. Kristina says:

    No 2 looks rather rude!…LOL…thought you meant it was terrible and not to touch it!

    Nice to see you back though.


    Kriss 🙂

  12. David says:

    Its 8am over here, and your amazingly well written post now makes me want to go out and buy a tonne of wine.

    Being a student this is actually practical…hmmmmm

  13. Steve says:

    Love the dark hair.
    I will have to look for some of these wines. Would love to hang out with you girls, it would be hysterical.

  14. Ribac says:

    Yeaaaaaah… not smart reading this during class… almost choked myself from suppressed laughter XD

  15. Sean Holt says:

    Jenny must be the one is the background of #8, still texting.

    I may have to do this the next time our friends get together. Or skip it and just buy #3 and #8.

  16. Therese says:

    Okay, this was awesome! I keep meaning to do this with my friends but we end up not bothering with the labels and drinking every bottle anyway…

  17. Josh says:

    I must admit I’m not all that experienced in wine, but now I want to go try a few. I wish I could go wine tasting with you. 🙂

  18. spans says:

    WE BE HOBOS! BAHAHAHAHA! That made my day!

  19. Rose says:

    This was too funny. You can tell with each bottle you all were getting more and more smashed. Big smile on my face after a lousy week. Keep on writing! Look forward to the next.

  20. James says:

    I too can understand being a “Wine Snob”, as in my younger days, I would only buy the best “Box” of Wine money could buy (as long as it was under $10).

    Now with age comes wisdom and fond memories of my youthful indiscretions and … ??

    What we’re we talking about?
    Anyway, Loved the “Reviews”, My kind of crazy chicks!
    About a decade ago, when stationed down in Jacksonville, FL with the Navy I had a year where I hung out with Five very Cool crazy chicks, who your crew reminds me of. (No, I’m not Gay, four were like Sisters and the 5th never would let me get in her pants):o(

    What a pleasant mixture of Friends. (Guess the wine doesn’t hurt):o)

  21. DWG says:

    I think we all owe you girls a big thank you for your sacrifices in the name of education. The world is a better place because of your efforts. ( At least it will seem that way after we transact your recommendations! )

  22. Martin says:

    …when J Belair S walked down the ramp of the ship in “Firefly,” I KNEW she was a fellow wino. I just knew it.

  23. Joe says:

    Don’t apologize for not being an “expert” with a “trained palate.” Important lesson number 1: you like what you like. Everything else is irrelevant.

    Having said that, I’ve been told that when “tasting” wine it’s best to start with whites, then go to reds, just because reds tend to dominate so much.

  24. Steve says:

    Yes but which one would go with maple-glazed pork bellies? That’s the real question!!

  25. Johnny says:

    When you said, “I could love him” I actually laughed out loud in a conference call. Thanks. 🙂

  26. tera says:

    Clearly, I need more girlfriends for fabulous wine tasting parties. 🙂

  27. joanna says:

    this was so so funny! loved it.
    ps – i love the nailpolish color of whichever wife’s hands are numbering the photos 🙂

  28. Catizzler says:

    Baby Duck wine is pretty good. And cheap. Although I really don’t drink a lot of wine to begin with (more of a “pint of Keith’s girl, myself) so I’m not really one to judge. Thanks for sharing your drunkenness, I got a real chuckle out of it. 🙂

  29. Martin says:

    So, why am I so fascinated with these “drunken Barbies?” I don’t want to sleep with any one of them… I don’t want to adopt them… I don’t want my son to marry one… but they’re just funny as hell. Kind of like The Three Stooges in designer dresses and expensive shoes…

  30. Judy says:

    Hysterical. Why don’t you have your own show on the Cooking Channel????

  31. Kathryn says:

    Price isn’t everything when it comes to wine. In Australia, some of the best wines are the cleanskins you can pick up for $5.99 a bottle.

  32. I loves the pretty ladys getting very much drunk on, it is very groovy!

  33. Apone says:

    Becky: “This is amazing. I’d drink this shit for lunch.”

    – Probably the best comment ever for a winetasting session.

  34. Isaak says:

    Jewel, have you tried Canaletto Primitivo yet?

  35. Jeremy says:

    Hi Jewel,

    If you’re a wine lover, you should make some time to check out some of the local product while you’re in Adelaide in a couple of months time. At a state level, South Australia is Australia’s biggest producer and exporter of wine and boasts some of the best (and largest) wineries in the country. We also have some fantastic wine regions within 2 hours of the city of Adelaide which you might enjoy checking out, especially if you don’t mind knocking on a few cellar doors.
    * McLaren Vale – great Shiraz, Merlot, Semillon & Chardonnay
    * Adelaide Hills – really nice cooler climate reds (e.g. Petit Verdot, Pinot Noirs and lighter Shiraz styles) and crisp Sauvingnon Blancs & Chardonnays
    * Barossa Valley – Huge Reds (Shiraz & Cab Sav), Rieslings & Roses (particularly Alicante Bouchet)
    * Clare Valley – High Altitude Reds (Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot) & Whites (Rieslings, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon & Chardonnay)

    South Australia’s terra rossa soils, mild winters and, cool nights & hot dry summers make for some of the countries finest wines. Reach out via my wine blog ( if you’re interested in finding more. 🙂

  36. Jeremy says:

    PS: If you’re looking for another fun way to taste wine, find a wine you like and try a vertical tasting where you taste the same brand/label wine from mulitple vintages (i.e. pressing seasons). If you do a little bit of research into what happened weather wise over each year you’re tasting, you can get some interesting insights into the influences that climatic conditions have on the texture, taste and bouquet (aroma) of the wine concerned.

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