Thursday, February 07, 2008

Non-Alcoholic Drinks: I just don't get them

I am a Girl Drink Drunk.

OK, that is an exaggeration. I used to say that I was predisposed to alcoholism like an oily rag was predisposed to burning, so generally speaking, I was an atypical teenager and young adult, especially considering that I really have no moral, social or religious objection to the consumption of alcohol. I had my fears about falling into alcoholism because I was part Irish, an aspiring writer, had an addictive personality and came from a family tree that was a little tipsy, and you can see why I was sort of afraid of tottering down that path.

But there was another reason why I didn't really start drinking until I was about 24.


To me, wine and beer taste like fermented ass, and the idea that groups of people sit around and swish these beverages in their mouth and then describe the various flavors that are left over when they spit seems like it was developed as some sick fraternity/secret society initiation rite that the rest of the world was conned into believing was a high cultured activity. I mean, I don't think Animal House was ever nominated for any Oscars, but somehow a movie about two dudes going up to Napa for a lot of wine tasting was nominated for 5. And won one.

I just don't get it. Maybe I don't have a sophisticated palette, but really, my thoughts generally run along the lines of, if it doesn't taste good, don't explore that flavor more, because to me, every wine is just a more expensive version of prison wine. It smells funky, tastes funky and generally leaves my tongue with the desire to punch me in the groin for making it experience it.

And then there is low alcohol wines and near beers... which to me seems like the worst of both worlds. It is the same awful taste with none of the appealing inebriation. It is sort of like going through customs at the airport and taking a 19-hour trip somewhere without the prospect of getting off the plane someone nice and/or different. And really, what is the point of going through the unpleasantness if you don't get something out of it. To me that is pure masochism. Or it is something you'd use to win a Drinking contest vs. someone who was drinking actual booze. I mean, that is the only conceivable reason outside of a 12 step program I can see for someone consuming one of these products.

Of course, to me the silliest thing I've seen in the supermarket along these lines is non-alcoholic wine coolers. I mean, really. If it is getting to the point in your life where you need to resort to one of these products, just turn around and buy a sparkling flavored water or even some sweetened fizzy water from the Coke or Pepsi company. I mean, what is next, a low alcohol hard lemonade which though only 0.5% alcohol, it still vaguely tastes of rubbing alcohol or bottles of Vaguely Vodka-like so people can make their very own fake Screwdrivers and Ice Picks? And yet, I am sure that someone has considered this, and was narrowly overruled.

To me, it is almost the same as selling cigarettes, that gateway to Flavor Country, that don't have nicotine in them. Oh wait, they do.

This is one of those lines of thought that seriously makes me contemplate what is wrong with some people. I am sure some of you are thinking that same thing right now, and hopefully more than half of you aren't entertaining that thought about me.


Arjan said...

my question is..what dó you drink then?..girldrinks? ;)

MC said...

Basically anything featuring a clear liquor and a sweetened base... vodka and fruit juices, rum and coke.

Though a White Russian or a Grasshopper is nice too.

Micgar said...

I think wine tastes bad-but some beers-the sweeter, mellower one-taste ok-like Blue Moon, JW Dundees Honey Ale.
I agree with you about your other point-its like, who are we fooling here? Everyone knows that people drink alcohol to get that little warm and fuzzy feeling-ie buzzed!

MC said...

I am all about the buzz.

Anonymous said...

You don't get it for reasons you mention in your post. You didn't start drinking until late in life, disallowing yourself from getting a 'taste' for wine or beer. Also you avoided the trap/disease of alcoholism. Not everybody is so successful; and so it is for alcoholics that these non-alcoholic mocktails have the most value. They are handy for alcoholics to have at social events where alcohol is being served, or for when a craving is particularly bad. I wonder why you would rant about this as a negative cultural Phenomenon rather than consider other perspectives. You'd be much better off confronting the normalization and glamorization of alcoholism in the media.