Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's a Black Fly in my Cabernet... (Isn't it Ironic?)

For those Alanis fans out there (and I'm one of them) no, it still isn't ironic.  What is "irony" then?

Well, there's verbal irony: saying one thing and meaning the opposite.  For instance, your boyfriend belches during a kiss and you tell him wryly, "Well, that's attractive.  I can't resist ripping my clothes off and taking you, right here, right now.  Do it again!"

Then there's literary irony: attempting to avoid an outcome actually creates the catalyst that accomplishes it.  Everyone remembers Oedipus.  Yup.

Then there's cabernet sauvignon.

Yes.  Red wine.  Nobody likes it.  Why?  Because most people think wine should taste like Asti Spumanti, Mogan David (an excellent manischewitz and a lovely cordial), or Boone's Farm.  Ah!  The squirrels are lighting up, now, remembering college parties and romantic dinners...

Cabernet is an acquired taste.  It's not sweet.  It's not fruity.  It's not light.  It doesn't roll over the tongue and cover its tracks: it sinks in deep, and reminds you that you still have a whole glass waiting to savor. It hugs you tight and marks its territory.  It's not a cheap date: it's the one you want to take home to mother, even if she'll be scandalized.  It sticks around and doesn't let you go home with anyone else.

So what in the world could be "ironic" about cabernet, you ask?

Cabernet is an acquired taste.  It's something you grow into after trying everything else: like a gateway drug, especially for women.  We start with whites, because we want to look "classy."  Then we move on to "rosé" because it's romantic.  (What's not romantic about pink, eh girls?)  And then (if we're very lucky) we meet the kind of guy who knows wine and he talks us into trying a red.  Lucky, because this guy is always a keeper.  Men who know about wine either have money or will have money.  They come from an educated family and if they're not already firmly in the upper-middle-class bracket, they will be soon.  If they're also sweet, kind, funny and sexy, all the better!

"What do you mean, you don't like red wine?  Here, I'll order for you.  Trust me."

And they start you out with a chianti or maybe a shiraz.  It's a little more "bold" than you're accustomed to, but you don't want to look like a hillbilly, so you drink it.  You feel fluttery and nervous, maybe a little awkward.  The Red Wine Virgin.  Next time you're at that Italian restaurant, you order it for yourself (because you're a classy chick, and adventurous).  And then you buy a bottle for yourself-- or else he buys it and keeps it at his place for when you hang out together...

The more you drink, the more you notice those undertones of "currant" or "blackberry."  Plum?  Oh, yes!  But not the flesh, the skin, the tannins, the loooooooverly tannins.  That's what makes red wine nice.  That's what hooks you...

And then he runs out of chianti and you have to drink his merlot.  It's not bad.  A little startling.  Instead of just holding your hand, it propositions you and asks for your phone number.  But merlot is without substance.  Wishy-washy.  It's neither bold nor smooth; neither fruity nor oaky.  A little bit harsh and startling.  It has no manners at all, but it makes you giggle.  It's the 3 a.m. boy: it will always be there when the bar closes and you're in the mood, and it looks good at a dinner party, but it'll never stick around.  The rebound wine.  You lost your favorite, and you don't want to be alone, but it's good enough for now.

And suddenly you realize you can't drink white wine anymore.  It gives you a headache.  It bores you.  You have to have the "good stuff."  And you're at a party and all they have is cab, or at a wine tasting and they don't have merlot-- and you taste the cab side-by-side with chianti and you realize...

Remember the first time you tasted dark chocolate?  You were probably a kid.  You spit it out, right?  Disgusting!  Chocolate is supposed to be sweet!  And then you grew up, and one day you were desperate (probably hormonal) and there wasn't anything else...

That feeling.  It's not a flavor: it's... it's... complete abandon.  Lust.  Smokey, oaky, bitter, bold... like a drug, you melt and say, "Ahhhh... yes, that's the stuff."  A pound of milk chocolate barely satisfied, but one bite of the dark sends you to bed relaxed with sweet dreams...

That's cabernet.  Do not drink cab if you want fluff, fruit, sweet, mild, fluid, energizing, upbeat, childish trick-or-treat innocence.  Drink it if you want wet dreams.  Drink it if you mean it.  Savor it.  It is like chocolate, and the best cab has undertones of cocoa, but it's not the chocolate your grammy gave you, folks.  It will take you over.  It will mean it.  It's all grown up and it knows where the G-spot is.  If you don't want to take it home with you, don't even pour a glass: you'll hate it.  Chianti and merlot drinkers beware: it will have your panties off in a heartbeat.  If you're a prude, then pour it into a potted plant and pretend.

No, I don't mean it literally.  I've moved from irony to metaphor.  You're still waiting for the irony, aren't you?

It is this.  Do. Not. Fuck. With. My. Cab.  Like any two-bit, toothless, big-haired hillbilly girl outside a bar after last call, I WILL scratch your eyes out if you mess with my man.  He's mine.  You can't appreciate him.  Go back to chianti and leave cab alone.

And there's the irony.  He's gone.  I've only just learned to appreciate a cabernet, and vintners have decided to play the field.  Blend a cabernet with a sangiovese?  Are you mad?!?  That's like Elvis Presley's daughter marrying Michael J-- oh, wait.  That actually happened...

Here is my heartfelt plea, folks.  If ever you have a chance to taste one of these bastard hybrids (sorry, Michael, the metaphor is over, I really, really don't mean you and Lisa Marie!) do not consider it a cabernet.  Do not say, "I never really liked cabs but this is great!  Barely any tannins, no oaky flavor, wow, it's even fruity!"  Herein lies the trap...

Keep buying chianti, dear.  Why did you even try the cab?  You knew before you picked it up that you weren't woman enough for it... it would lick you all over and leave you asking for your mommy.  What you just drank isn't a real cab.  It's a boring gentleman.  Cabernet is a Bad Boy.  What you have in your hand is a wine pretending to be the Wild Thing when really it's thinking about its returns on the stock exchange.  It doesn't ride a Harley.  It rides a Moped.  It's just pretending to be a member of the band because it wants to get into your pants.

Cabernet is smokey.  It's oaky.  It's bold.  It's got tobacco on it's tongue, or cocoa.  Not plum jam.  It doesn't go well with a PBJ.  (Oh, wait, yes it does.  Cab goes well with everything if you want it to.)  Stop encouraging the wannabes.  Stop playing around with my "man."

Go back to your chianti and your trailer, beeoooootch.

And there is the irony.  By listening to the folks who say, "I don't like cabernet," and messing around with the blend, cabernet is palatable for those without a palate for it, now.  But those who truly appreciated it for what it was?  *sigh*

I want my cabernet back.  I miss it.  I guess my only option is to down a bag of semi-sweet morsels and sleep it off...

Don't get me started on the irony of putting corn syrup in vanilla.

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