Damn the vintage, just pass the pinot!

This is a great article from the Guardian – a lefty rag which I never read.. but for one moment, sod the politics and enjoy a bit of simple prejudice…

A drinking woman’s guide to wine
Polly Vernon

I was so very glad to hear that women are fuelling the new boom in UK wine sales.
Having contributed to the spiralling sales figures substantially, I was hardly amazed by the news that me and my sort downed nearly 600 million bottles of fermented grape last year (compared to the paltry 400 million consumed by our male equivalents).

But I was definitely gratified by the indisputably official nature of the stats. This is because I believe that wine is the rightful property of the ladies. Never mind Sideways. Never mind ’emotional connections with Pinot’. Never mind that the vast majority of vintners and tasters and sommeliers are men.

Men spoil wine. They take it too seriously. They want to master it. They want to dress it up in mystery and tradition, and imbue it with intrinsic maleness so that they can be superior about it. Men reach a certain age – 34 or so – and stop thinking they know how to play the guitar, or how to DJ, and start thinking instead that they ‘know’ wine.

They stop default-ordering the House option in restaurants, and start asking for ‘the list’. They start thinking stuff is corked. They start believing that creating a big fat scene about the suspected corking, will prove how jolly Alpha and male they are. They hold forth at length about how they despise Pinot Grigio because it’ doesn’t taste of anything much’.

Men don’t understand that wine is not about this. Wine is actually just for the drinking, and for the being drunk. That’s why it was invented.

Men want to take the joy out of wine, and replace it with snobbery, superciliousness, and another opportunity for sexism. Women, on the other hand, just want to drink it until they feel like singing Wichita Lineman, crying, and/or texting someone they shouldn’t. There now follows a thinking girl’s guide to buying, drinking and properly enjoying wine.

1) When choosing a bottle, ask yourself the following questions: – red or white? (Your response will be primarily influenced by how badly red stains your teeth) – should it cost more than six quid in a shop, £12 in a bar? (Yes, probably. There’s not being snobby, which we approve of, but there’s also being tight, which we definitely don’t approve of) – does it have a funny name, something that you can make increasingly slurry jokes about over the course of an evening? (I like the Californian Tierra Area for this, because it sounds like Tina Arena who sang Chains, which I too like to sing when under the influence, along with You’re So Vain and, of course, Wichita Lineman.)

2) Three ‘new standard’ 175ml glasses qualify as an official binge drink. I support binge drinking as a statement of post-feminist empowerment, so you should see this as an aim, rather than a limit.

3) A lady will always get more drunk if she goes for ‘just one’, than if she accepts she’s there for the long haul. This is because Just One-ers turn down offers of stomach-lining chips and hummus dips on arriving at bars, on the basis that they’re ‘about to get a bus at any moment’. They’re not.

4) Vodka removes red wine stains from off-white sofas, carpets, and lovely eau de nil jersey cocktail dresses much more effectively than either salt or soda water.

5) There’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking either Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. They’re both very pleasant but were cast out to the hinterlands of fashionable drinking by men because ladies liked them, which instantly made men think they couldn’t be good. It’s time to reclaim them.

6) Same applies to rosé. Men think it’s crap, because it’s pink. It’s actually distilled essence of very nice summer holiday.

7) Sea sickness pills ease hangovers.

8) This summer’s wedge is a good wine-drinking shoe. It has flattering, calf-elongating properties, and provides useful stability that standard high heels do not.

9) It is not at all bad to pop out for a last-minute bottle of Wednesday Night Red, dressed only in pyjama bottoms, Uggs and a Parka. Au contraire, it is charming, devil-may-care and rather French. Boyfriends who say, ‘You look a bit mental,’ are wrong.

10) Wine is not an intellectual pursuit. It is for fun.

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