The hunt for quarantine wine
(This story was written while in quarantine for the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been blessed to have my daughter at home with me for the duration. Tara is a comedic writer with her undergraduate degree in the Psychology of Comedy. She has been a stand-up comedian and has written numerous plays and short stories with her particular slant toward absurdist comedy. This piece is a collaboration that we spent days toiling over, laughing about, and, of course, drinking wine as we worked. We hope you enjoy it.)
While others have spent their time hunting for cases of toilet paper and gathering bread-baking supplies, I’ve developed the survivalist strategy for my isolation essential. Wine. All-purpose flour? Yeast? How ‘bout a nice Chardonnay.
This panic buying, where people have irrationally decided what they suddenly can’t live without, has caused a complete disintegration of our social norms. Rushing into stores wild-eyed, stalking other shoppers to see what they’re buying, arms flailing as they grab everything remaining from the shelves. Do these folks not remember high school? The cool kids strolling with confidence across the campus on the lookout for signs of weakness? The bullies who relished throwing the outcast up against the lockers or, better yet, into the lockers? The mean girls who scoffed and sneered at the spaz and the dufus? People, calm down and stop looking ridiculous. I don’t want to have to kick your ass.
First, remember to lead by example. Face it. You reek of “uncool” if you race up and down aisles in search of Merlot. Others can smell fear, so never let them know how terrified you are that you may have to resort to Shiraz.
Second, plan ahead. Know your area stores and develop a spreadsheet of who works in each store, what their hours are, and the date you last shopped there. Spend hours on your makeup, cover it with a mask, then visit Bobby at ShopRite Liquors and Jake at Joe Canal’s. Go see Cal over at Bottle King and Sam at Wine Republic. Maintaining your supply of wine is crucial, but experts say safeguarding your mental health is just as important. If you’re stuck in isolation without regular doses of flattery, your state of mind is at risk which means you’ll drink more wine. You’ll feel better, sure, but there’s a fine line between self-medication and simply being wasteful.
Third, look into delivery services as well. My husband gave me a wine subscription gift for Christmas. I’m scheduled to receive six minuscule bottles (570 ML as opposed to the standard 750 ML) a month but, given their tiny size, that equates to what, maybe 1.5 regular bottles? Whatever the math, they’re a nice supplement to your in-person purchases. As I realized that we could be in quarantine for a long time, I started another subscription so I could get twelve bottles per month. But, on the second one, I gave the subscriber name as Docelyn Jorgan so the UPS guy wouldn’t know it was me.
And, fourth, you can increase your purchase amounts when necessary. I was on a lovely schedule of adhering to that 5 o’clock rule, counting down the minutes until I could pop the cork. But, one night as I watched time tick so slowly that I wondered if it was actually standing still, I had the impulse to break every single one of my clocks. That’ll teach them. The following morning, when I realized I wouldn’t know when 5 o’clock struck, I decided to play it safe and drink all day. Then I realized why brunch was invented. I could add a little sparkling white wine to my morning orange juice, and that entire 5 o’clock issue ended up in the trash. With my clocks.
Now that you know how to procure wines, you need to know their countless benefits. The thing I love to do most, after drinking wine, of course, is to eat. I would eat morning, noon, and night if I could. In quarantine, turns out I can. However, if there’s one thing I hate more than being sober, it’s exercise. You might think I should worry about the caloric content of wine. But it’s a fact that drinking wine causes your blood vessels to constrict. The more they constrict, the skinnier I look. So, wine consumption is actually a form of dieting. That’s science.
Some women have a signature perfume that, when they enter a room, their very scent causes heads to turn in recognition. The same holds true for wine. You need to develop your signature wine that becomes an extension of your identity. These days, when I enter a room, I no longer need to yell, “Pinot!” until somebody gives me a glass to stop the screaming. Now, a glass magically appears in my hand.
Wine is not just an accompaniment for all of your meals. Learn to use it generously in your dishes, too. For an appetizer, try a delicious Swiss fondue made with a bottle or so of high-quality dry Riesling. For your main course, I would suggest Swiss fondue made with a bottle or so of high-quality dry Riesling. For dessert, you can try cupcakes with a light champagne frosting or, if you prefer, a Swiss fondue made with a bottle or so of high-quality dry Riesling.
To look at me, you might not guess that I’m a highly accomplished rhymer. Whenever my friends or family need a good rhyme, they call me. I’m going to leave you with a little ditty that I’m particularly proud of.
When you confine, don’t forget the wine.
I like to wine and dine. My husband likes to dine and whine.
Stop giving the wine to a porcupine.
You better stop, the wine is mine.