The thing about wine is, its like they say, its an acquired taste. I basically couldn’t stand the taste of wine when i first tasted it. I was around 12 or so and happened to pick up a nearly empty glass of red off the table when no one was looking and swigged the remains of it. It was so gross i thought i wouldn’t be able to refrain from spitting it out there and then. It just tasted like fermented grapes, which it is, and oh so potent. I couldn’t get rid of the taste of it for ages. Yuck. I vowed never to go there again. I was only 12 in fairness, but still! Eww.
Fast forward 5 or so years and i was talked into trying white wine. It was a Sauvignon Blanc or something cos it was cheap from the supermarket, as we were only young ones, and sure we thought we were posh with our wine instead of cans of Bud or something. Anyway, it actually wasn’t too bad. So i used to have the odd glass here and there but still preferred my trusty beer.
In Ireland there were rules in place, probably still are, about certain restaurants that only had a license to sell wine. Now i don’t really know for what mad reason that was. After all, i find wine is much stronger than beer. I learnt that quick enough haha. So God knows why anyone would only be allowed to sell wine on their premises? To compliment the food probably. Thats not to say you won’t get completely trollied drunk though either!
Anyhow, for my 18th birthday we went to a fancy Italian bistro which everyone was delighted to try out as so many great reports and so on. We got the menus and i immediately began looking for the beer section. OH dear, I’m afraid we hadn’t done the research and theres only wine to choose from. Naturally, we ordered a few bottles and soon it was flowing like water. We probably all put away at least a bottle each as everyone bought one so that was all well and good. But that was only the start of the night heehee.
We moved on to a disco bar down the road and everyone was pretty tipsy. So we decided we would stick to the wine. Responsible! And you should never mix the grape and the grain they say. Not worth the hangover they say! Well after another few glasses of wine, a group of guys across the way who were celebrating a win of some sort sent us over some bottles of WKD Blue. In case you don’t know what that is, its probably been banned by now, lol. Its a blue coloured alco pop concoction like Smirnoff Ice but disgusting. We happily accepted so as not to be rude and barely managed to drink a few sips before it was lights out, home time!
Got home, stumbled in the door and straight to the toilet. Lets just say it put me off wine completely! I think i will always remember the next day as being the worst hangover i ever had in my life. I couldn’t even move. So moral of the story is, don’t drink WKD Blue 😉
A couple of years later, having not touched wine since the dreaded birthday incident, i arrived home one night, really needing a drink after a bad night. Noticed my flat mate had a bottle of white wine sitting on the counter and figured she wouldn’t mind if i had a glass as it had already been opened. Poured the glass, took a big swig of it to calm my nerves and immediately regurgitated in horror. It had turned to vinegar from being opened weeks previously and not put in the fridge. Eww, so basically, don’t do that. Vinegar is old wine so do discard once out of date. Save a soul.
I never touched wine again after that put me off it for around 24 years hahaha. No joke. I literally didn’t touch wine in all that time because i was so disgusted at the thought of it ever passing my lips, I was sure i would spew. Now champagne was a different story, cos who can say no to champers? But thats a different taste completely so lets not go there.
Fast forward to when i met my French boyfriend. We were living in NZ so he was used to drinking beer and he liked a Guinness or 2 so that was great cos I’m Irish so no problems there. He did still love the wine and so he would have it when we went for dinner and often with his French pals. Naturally its culture in France so its commonplace. I still refused to bother since i had my trusty beer and i stuck with what i knew and loved.
Until i moved to France! I was pregnant when i arrived so i was on the water, but i couldn’t help notice that everywhere we went, ie someones house, wine was the only option. And water of course, for the pregnant lady. But they drank copious amounts of red wine at lunch and dinner and often at night afterwards. I wondered to myself if anyone in the country ever drinks beer????
My question was answered when we went to the supermarché. Beer was plentiful and so so cheap. I thought, ah thats grand sure after the baby’s born I’ll still be able to have the few beers the odd night and i can always bring my own when we go to visit people for dinner. I soon learned that that is not really the done thing in France. They love the wine so much, they might take offence or look at you funny for bringing beer!? Oh Dear.
After i had my gorgeous baby, a few months later, we went to a dinner party and i decided to go ahead and try a glass of red. Well to be honest i was very pleasantly surprised. It was really nice and very easy to drink. So i had a couple of glasses and felt happy with myself that I’m embracing the French culture and enjoying red wine, something i never expected. After that, i began choosing red wine on the menu when we went out and eventually preferring red wine over beer! So now i am loving the wine, and I’m obviously in the right place here in France since its so cheap. Maybe a little bit too much though?! OH well, at least its good for you.
Pass me another glass!