Red Wine Is My New Friend

Where have you been all my life?

The Hubbster has been away for work a lot lately, and I don’t like this one bit. Let’s say it’s because I miss him. But really, it’s because I have a very hard time sleeping by myself, and I need my beauty rest.

Obviously, this isn’t the first time that I’ve had to sleep without the Hubbster. When I’m all aloney on my owny, I’ve tried several different tactics to turn my brain off, but nothing seems to work quite like being able to roll over and spoon my husband. White wine makes me hyper; when I take Melatonin, I think about it too much, and I psych myself out right as I’m about to fall asleep; Counting sheep is about as useless as decaffeinated coffee in the morning–yes, I’ve actually tried counting sheep; and Tylenol PM has a tendency to make me turn my alarms off while still unconscious. Seriously. Last week I turned off 3 alarms, and then woke up naturally 45 minutes late. Great.

So, my lovely friend Cheryl suggested I try a big glass of red wine to lull me off to sleep. Problem? I don’t really like red wine. Or at least I didn’t until yesterday.

I was a very picky child. And teenager. And college student… But in the past few years, I’ve been giving things that I ‘don’t like’ a second chance. Like tomatoes. And I’ve befriended a whole slew of items that would’ve made me pretend to throw up as a child (Yeah. I did that. Sorry, Dad). And now red wine has been added to my list of new friends.

Though purchasing it was quite the personal journey.

Funny story: I know nothing about red wine (don’t worry, I’ll get to the funny part). I don’t know what has to breathe and what doesn’t, what is better served chilled and what you just stick back in a pantry. And I mostly don’t know where the hell to find any of it in the grocery store. I think everyone in the wine aisle at Harris Teeter last night either thought I was underage, had just turned 21, was illiterate, or already drunk to the point that my vision was severely impaired.

Seriously, why do they organize the wine section the way they do?! Maybe it’s just to confuse the people who didn’t take that wine tasting class in college (Sommolier? Is that what it is? Nope, there’s a red squiggly underneath it. Sommelier. I was close at least. Stop it red squiggly, I just googled it, that’s the correct spelling! Apparently spell check doesn’t appreciate French). Anyway. Back to my confusion in the wine aisle: I have no idea what region I want my wine from, so organizing it by country is a total waste of time. Then they’ve got red and white all interspersed within each region. So the one thing that I know (I want red wine) isn’t a way to differentiate which rows I want to look in. I’m searching for a specific type that was recommended to me, lambrusco, and I can not for the life of me find one bottle with “lambrusco” on the label. I tried looking at it alphabetically, but that didn’t seem to be working either. After wandering aimlessly amongst the bottles, my groceries were getting super heavy. I was exhausted and just wanted to go home, drink said red wine and go to sleep.

So I did what any respectable almost-25-year-old would do. I started looking for a pretty label. What? Never underestimate the ability of a label to say “pick me up and buy me.”

I found one that had pretty cherries on it and said ‘sweet red wine.’ This spoke to me. My problem with red wines in the past have been that they tasted too dry and bitter (I’m the same way with white wines. I drink Riesling and Spatlese and only buy Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio for cooking). Then when I read the back, it basically has every red grape ever shoved in the bottle, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. It also uses catchy phrases and the word ‘yummy.’ Yep. I love buzz words. Sold. Wrap it up.

You know what’s awesome about red wine? It has a higher alcohol content than white wine. I don’t mind telling you, I was a little buzzed. I also learned from trial and error that this wine needs to breathe. By trial and error, I mean I poured a glass, tried it, did not like it, let it sit for 15 minutes, tried it again, then drank a glass and a half while watching the Democratic National Convention and shouting “you go girl!” to Kathleen Sebelius and Michelle Obama. I think they definitely heard me. They’ll be calling me within the hour to be besties.

After all the fun tipsiness (and enjoying a lovely accidentally inebriated call with my sister) I went off to fun sleepy land. So thank you, red wine. We’ll be meeting again soon. Like, tonight.


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