Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year’s – Wines for the Horror

The long nightmare that was 2016 is drawing to a close. As we sit here on the edge of ’17, waiting to see what America’s Orange Era has in store for us, there’s a thought that’s never far from the front of my brain.

“Screw it. We should all just get shithammered.”

Queen Cersei Lannister -- the leader we need.
Hopeless times call for hopeless measures, and I’m here to help! Usually, I try to fill this space with some kind of highbrow (or at least middlebrow) advice on how to expand your drinking palate – but this isn’t an age for that sort of pinkies out crap. This is the time to drink until you twitch. Flopsweat can be cathartic, right?

These days call for wines served chilled. Deeply chilled. I suggest gathering with some of your friends around a fire that you’ve built from cardboard, your Obama “Hope” poster, and the remains of your self-esteem to really get in the spirit of the occasion. Here are a few possible suggestions for your New Year’s tipples:

Lancers November 2016 Rosé– Lancers, the rebirth of the long-popular Mateus rosé, evokes an urban vibe on the first sip. Lancers has a lovely nose of peaches soaked in isopropyl. The flavor, mellowed by the proper serving temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit, bursts on your tongue with the velvety touch of a bolt of fine Chinese silk wrapped around a newly purchased ballpeen hammer. The finish is a bit sharp. Lancers’ website recommends it be mixed with “lemonade concentrate” and be garnished with a mint leaf, probably for the antioxidants. $4-6.

Boone’s Farm May 2016 Strawberry Hill – The original “flavored citrus wine” takes me back to my days in high school, roaming the hills of Eastern Kentucky, hoping that there might be a beneficent 21 year old visiting one of my friends. The light nose of strawberries and hormones is followed by a fruity blend of flavors, all of which properly mask the fact that the drink actually contains alcohol. The finish is long and sweet, with faint notes of teenage rejection and regret. The sample may have been a bit past its prime. May wasn’t a good month. $5-7.

Manischewitz September 2016 Concord Grape – The concord grape, long overlooked by many, holds a special place in my heart. This was the first wine I tasted in my oenological career, sipping from a small sterling silver cup at age four. I learned there’s a dichotomy among Jewish households -- Mogen David and Manischewitz families. My family was the latter. While Manichewitz has diversified its product, adding a “smooth and light” line, as well as elderberry, blackberry, cherry, and loganberry versions, I consider myself a purist. Nothing says “L’Chaim” like good old fashioned Concord. If you only get one wine to get all passed out Kosher, this is the one. $5-6.

Not exactly.
Cisco October 2016 Orange – An all-time champ among bagged up wines, Cisco comes in a rainbow of flavors – each one roughly emulating Strawberry, Blue Raspberry, Black Cherry, and whatever flavor “Red” might be. I suggest choosing Orange for the extra Vitamin C, so to resist the antibiotic-resistant bacteria you’d likely find on the sidewalk grate you’ll likely find yourself on. A potent combination of Sunny Delight and Robitussin, Cisco will have you first laughing, then hallucinating, then curled into a small ball cursing Thor, who will be smashing Mjolnir against the inside of your cranium in short order. The FTC warning on the label states, “Not a wine cooler. 8 servings.” Boys count. Men drink. $6-7.

Night Train August 2016 “Express” – Needing no introduction other than the gentle tones of noted existential philosopher W. Axl Rose, hopping aboard the Train is a quick ride to Oblivion, although the Express still stops at Loss of Motor Control, Public Urination, Ultraviolence, and Delerium Tremens beforehand. A heady combination of Cheerwine and Robitussin with a whimsical finish of drain opener, you’ll be flying like an aeroplane and feeling like a space brain all the way to midnight. $5-6

Friends, when you wake up two days into the new year, breathe deeply of the scents of the upcoming future and your own effluvia and remember to recycle your empties. That may not save us all from burning to a crisp in the new year –slowly by climate change or quickly by nuclear fire, but you can feel that you’re helping the planet in your own little way. Have a happy 2017, everyone!

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