Well, it’s just like the offseason again. The holidays raced past in some blur, not so much like the whiteouts of winters’ past. And with dry being the theme, the ski resorts are putting a gosh-darn good spin on things, like, “Yah, we know there ain’t no snow (really? Coulda fooled me), but we’re gonna teach a bunch of newbies how to slide out of control on the bunny slopes.” Somehow, somebody missed the punch line there, that if it isn’t going to snow anymore, then … well, you get it. Besides, who knew Aspen even had bunny slopes? Oh right, they did install them at some point to get the … well, you get that, too. Am I just rehashing some Lorenzo Semple comedy here, or do I have a point?
The point is that this is a wine column, not a political activist editorial rant. And the point? Besides the fact that there isn’t any dang snow (well, it did kinda, wanna, sorta dump last week for a minute), there is another problem, and it directly affects the wine writer deep down within me: Most of my friends are on some Dryuary kick. Again, enough with the no-snow euphemisms. It’s the post-holiday sober season. Ugh.
It’s bad enough we can’t ski our favorite inbounds terrain and the backcountry is seemingly just as fickle. So what’s a loser ski bum among many to do? Go out and have a few. 'Cept, the problem here is, everybody is on some dry January kick.
“I’m not drinking in January,” they say.
I reply, “It’s a long month, 31 days, to be fair.” And being January, it usually is pretty dry around here as it is, as in 10 percent humidity. To warn them I reply “If you don’t drink, how are you gonna stay hydrated?” You have to drink something. Semantics.
Point being: Why would you, in foresight or in hind, seriously, actually want to not drink (alcohol, I'm referring to) in January? January, the most boring, sterile, bland, stark, cold and lonely time of the year. Think of it this way: December is a time of lights, parties, hope, warmth, conviviality on steroids. You would think that a guy or gal could make it through this time of mirth without having to resort to hitting the bottle. Just pop from one smiley, happy party to the next, visiting friends, neighbors, relatives, lovers, and start all over again just one week after Christmas. I spent New Years Eve on a frickin’ boat. On a boat. It was amazing.
Then all of a sudden it’s January 1st, all of your friends are in hiding like they have the plague or something (which I heard was going around). All there is to do is watch a bunch of low-rent boring college football games, and some even lamer professional playoffs, which this year feature the not-so-much-potential-as-even-one Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary. Christ. I need a drink.
Oh, yah, the point: This is the worst time of the year for a wine writer like me. I admit, I don’t like to drink alone, but the heck I will. Just watch, read and learn.
If I were to come at you with say, a magnum of 2001 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, would you deny the St. Julien juice from the beautiful stones in the heart of the Medoc? Were I to toy at you with a goblet brimming forth with boundary-pushing pinot noir from Costa Browne, from the $500 bottle section of the wine list, would you walk out on me?
Fair is fair. I get it. Truth be told, for Dryuary, I have cut out that nasty black drink we like to call coffee. I think it’s all the cream that really gets me down. And since we don’t have to fire the jets for early-morning powder posse missions, it’s not so bad. I also cut out the nasty green legal weed. “It’s about damn time,” she said!
Which has given me a lot of time to, well, just sit and ponder.
Andybody wanna join me for a pot of green tea?
Soon, we can get back to the heady topic of the great world of fine wine and play everybody’s favorite game, Detox-to-Retox.
Cheers! Remember: Wine reveals truth.
Drew Stofflet lives in Carbondale. Correspond with him at firstname.lastname@example.org