I knew I was drunk because I had my bare ass freshly pressed against the back window of the rental van aimed at a convertible corvette that may or may not have been in sight of the van at this point. Showing my ass literally is not a part of my usual MO. Figuratively, yes, but I do normally keep my bertcheeks where they belong. Alongside me, also with his ass pressed to the window, was an otherwise normally sane neighbor of mine.
What caused us usually fine, upstanding members of society (well, my neighbor anyway, he’s a pharmacist) to bare our asses to Joe Corvette and his lady passenger?
Whoever thought of opening wineries to the public is brilliant.
I assume that most people in this country now have wineries within driving distance of their homes. Our local wineries are close enough to make a day of it, but just far enough away that a designated driver is a must. If there are people out there who visit wineries without being tabbed the designated driver but can still see straight when they’re leaving, I’m impressed!
I remember being in law school and awaiting an evening class at my favorite watering hole just across the street once when three or four tour busses pulled up and parked across from the bar. Hordes of college kids exited the busses and promptly began stumbling face first into the grass. Some didn’t make it to the grass and fell flat onto the street or sidewalk. Still others began urinating right there on the sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon. One couple was about to have sex, and several others had their bare asses pressed against the bar windows because they weren’t being allowed in for various (obvious) reasons.
It was one of the craziest scenes I’ve ever witnessed. Part of its craziness stemmed from the fact that it wasn’t even 5 pm yet and there were a couple hundred kids stumbling drunk like a bunch of zombies in such an urban setting. By the time campus security arrived, the level of silly had reached its zenith. The kids that remained had only done so because they were too hammered to figure out where to go or even how to go about getting wherever it was they wanted to go. They were like sheep without their shephard dog and they had just returned from a few hours at a winery.
I had a good laugh and went to class. Only at a Jesuit school would that be tolerated. Well, it was mostly tolerated I think. It was near graduation time, and I think everyone at a university is more pleasant around the end of May when the end is in sight.
Those kids had the right idea in that they didn’t drink and drive, so kudos to them. I assume that like me, most of those kids aren’t regular wine drinkers, so the wine hit them unexpectedly and pretty hard. Still, they made it home in one piece, and at their age, that’s an accomplishment.
For those of you out there who’ve never been to a winery, I highly recommend it! Don’t worry about feeling out of place because you ain’t no wine snob, there are always plenty of others in the same boat as you. Just to give you head’s up though, here’s a Cliff’s Notes list of tips to get you through your winery day.
- Who’s driving? Make sure it isn’t you and try to make sure it’s not one of your idiot friends who drinks as much as or even more than you like to. Find a pregnant wife or girlfriend or somebody who’s found Jesus and doesn’t drink anymore, because most of these wineries are nowhere near where you live. Even if they were, driving 100 feet in your future condition is not a good idea. Many of these wineries are in small towns and we all know how small towns like to make revenue from traffic related violations, right? Trying to decide at the end of the day “who’s the least drunk and therefore, logically most able to drive?” is not the best way to get home safely.
- Lube yourself with some lighter fair. No matter what sort of event you’re attending, if it involves pre-event drinking, it has to be awesome! Drinking before you get to the winery is a no brainer, so ice up a cooler with beer and soda for the driver and get your pre-drink on for the hour or so drive to the winery. Drinking before drinking is a guarantee that you’re going to have fun while you’re drinking.
- Whoah there though; pace yourself big fella! You have several hours of wine drinking ahead of you and you’ve skipped breakfast? Try not to exceed a six pack on the ride there, just in case your friends can’t be trusted to carry you back to the van and lock you in there safe and sound in a couple of hours after you’ve vomited and passed out on a patio in front of a family with small children after telling the dad that his 7 year old daughter was going to grow up to be “smokin’ fuckin’ hot.” There’s always somebody in the group who thinks it’d be funny to shave your head or draw a penis in permanent marker on your face. Make sure you outlast that guy at least.
- Order something you can pronounce first. You don’t want to sound like a buffoon right away to the first bartender you encounter, so when asking for that first sample, keep it simple. Ask to sample the “house char-don-ay” if you’d like a white wine, or a “house mer-low” to get some red in your system. The point isn’t to order something you’ll necessarily enjoy this time, but to get something in your hand without drawing attention to yourself as being an idiot who knows nothing about wine and is only there to get tanked.
- Now find a douchebag. You’re going to want to take your successfully acquired sample of wine and nestle near Mr. and Mrs. Douchebag for some wine education. They’ll be the couple who showed up in a Corvette or BMW or Mercedes station wagon but are spending the afternoon doing the same thing as your dumb, broke ass, so they’re not that cool after all. They probably took some classes on wine drinking in the hopes that they won’t sound like douchebags, but their attire gives them away. You’ll know them when you see them and they’ll be taking all of the bartender’s time asking him or her questions that they already know the answers to. Eavesdrop on their conversation about the 6 wines this shitty Missouri winery offers and you’ll know all you need to know to order future wine samples with confidence.
- That’s wine pal, not beer or Kool-Aid! They, whoever they is, say that beer drinkers shouldn’t drink wine, in part, because they drink it the same way they do beer. First off, shut the fuck up whoever you are! I don’t drink wine from 12 oz cans so you’re totally incorrect. Beer chuggers do, however, sometimes forget that
we’rethey’re drinking a more potent beverage in wine and get to chugging instead of sipping. We, er those people will feel fine for about an hour or so, but at some point, those 2 bottles of wine on top of the 5 beers you had on the ride to the winery will hit you from out of nowhere!
- Let’s eat! There will come a point in time where the experienced drunk will know that he or she has reached the point in the road where it forks. The road less traveled will be taken by switching to water and laying off the booze for a couple of hours. Your well traveled road taking ass, however, knows nothing of that other direction and will continue to drink wine, knowing full well that you’ve now reached a point where tomorrow is a lost day. That’s ok though, you’re having fun, but let’s fill our belly just to help ease that pain a little bit. While crackers and cheese probably isn’t going to do much to defend your brain cells from being overrun by the much stronger wine molecules, it’s better than nothing. Most wineries serve food nowadays, so try to find something that doesn’t sound completely queer and eat it. Bread, sausage, cheese, birdfeed, it doesn’t matter, just get something into your system.
- Go home now! Hey, the winery is fun, but it isn’t meant to be fun for more than 4 or 5 hours. If you’ve not wasted time talking or walking around aimlessly, and have been sampling and buying wines for 4 hours, you should be plenty hammered now. When you slap your wife on the ass and tell her she looks bootiful and it turns out you’ve just slapped some guy named Steve on the ass and not your wife, then it’s time to go. Find the driver and nestle into your spot on the van. If the others aren’t ready then fuck em. Drink the rest of the beer in the cooler until you’re confident that you’re drunk enough that you’re willing to press your ass against the back window for those people right behind you to admire without giving it a second thought.
Have fun and be careful my friends!