This blog post goes out to Larry, who recently sent me six bottles with a note that read “Do not drink for at least the next seven years!”
Hello, I am Rae and I have a wine problem.
This is the part where you say “hello” back and promise me everything is going to be alright. DO IIIIITTTT!
I know I could have a real problem, like heroin, but things are on the verge of getting expensive. And wasteful. And I don’t want to be wasteful.
Recently, it’s become apparent that I have more bottles of wine than I have storage room. This is a problem. There’s bottles on my desk. Bottles in my closet, living with my shoes. There’s bottles in the outside refrigerator. There’s wine bottles everywhere. Obviously there’s wine where it’s supposed to be: on the wine rack and in the cellar.
I am not gonna lie. I was a bit perplexed how I found myself in such a conundrum. But then I thought back to my wine-buying history and pieced it together. Back when I had disposable income, you know, the pre-concussion days, I’d buy a case or two (total) after a jam-packed weekend of wine tasting. Half those bottles I had no recollection of, so they’ve sat on their carefully selected rack and remained largely untouched (learn from 20-something me, don’t purchase wine when you're wine wasted or one sip away from blacking out). I then decided I wanted to expand my wine palate and joined a couple of “wines of the world” wine clubs and some of the wines I’d never heard of or couldn’t pronounce also began collecting dust. I then was sucked into the rabbit hole and began buying “special occasion” wine, for you know, a special occasion. Then, because more than half of my wine was “special occasion” wine, I often times found myself upset because I didn't have any “every day” wine to drink after a particularly trying Tuesday at work. So I joined various wine clubs so I’d have some wine to drink with my macaroni and cheese. I know, why didn’t I just go to the grocery store and buy a bottle? Because it’s tough to find decent wine at the grocery store. Yes, I am a bit of a wine snob, but that’s only because I don’t particularly enjoy the taste of bulk wine that’s mostly made of average grapes, where quantity is more important than quality.
It’s okay. I give you permission to roll your eyes. Ten years ago I would have been rolling my eyes, too. But when it comes to wine, I’ve gotten wiser. Or pickier. I’m really not sure. Let’s go with wiser.
Anyhow, I’ve got a problem on my hands that isn’t technically a problem. I now have quite a bit of wine that I can drink any day of the week but I don’t have a home for all of it in my house. I mean, I could start drinking more than a bottle or two a week, but to be honest, I’d prefer to go through life without a drinking problem or having to buy new clothes because my waistline has suddenly expanded due to my adoration of vino.
You’re probably thinking I have a drinking problem or I blow all my money on wine. The truth is, I actually spend less than $2,000 a year on wine and don’t allow myself to buy a bottle that’s more than $150 unless I’m buying it for a specific event that is happening soon. That is right. I have boundaries and restrictions when it comes to purchasing wine. And with yesterday's purchase of a case of Broken Earth's Quadrant Gold, I am on an official wine freeze.
After acknowledging this strange predicament, I visited my good friend Google and searched “wine fridge.” I thought it would be nice to have a smaller wine fridge closer to the kitchen--or in the kitchen where I would keep more of my every day wines, just in case of an emergency.
About a bajillion websites came up, the ones proudly sponsored of course were on top, begging to be clicked. I never click on the top posts. Something about the word sponsored turns me off. Overwhelmed, I logged onto Home Depot to see what my options were.
Am I the only one who sorts reviews by those with the least amount of stars on the top of the review list? Right off the bat, I like to know the problems about any given item. I absolutely do this with hotels... and wineries. I just hate getting my hopes up about something only to read something that is potentially a deal breaker for me. During the summer, it’s hot where I live. Obviously it’s not Arizona hot, but it can still be quite the task to keep the house under 85º during the day. It’s heart breaking when I’m about to click “add to basket” and then read several reviewers mention my dream wine fridge sucks at keeping wines cool in the hot summer months.
I hate warm wine. Especially red wine. Bleh. White wine is even worse when it’s not ice cold during the summer months when my skin is melting off. Even though my expensive library wines are safe (unless there’s a power outage—oh no!!!!), I would prefer to not have the rest of my wine be boiled by the hot California temperatures.
After three hours of “research”, there wasn't a single wine fridge that people weren’t complaining about. Either they make too much noise, vibrate too much or have difficulties keeping wine at the preferred temperature. If I buy another monster wine fridge, my husband will probably have me committed. I’ve switched out shoes for wine. So, if my former shoe collection any indication, I might have to buy an entire house just for wine. Just kidding. I’m not that ridiculous. Yet.
Defeated, I have given myself some rules for the foreseeable future, at least until I come across a somewhat quiet wine fridge that can withstand the heat that my husbands cat can’t open.
- No more wine clubs. Even if I’m begging my husband for permission because the wine is so good or I don’t currently belong to any clubs that specialize in Rhone-style wines.
- I can join a new wine club only if I drop one with the same shipping frequency or allotment—I can’t drop a club that only ships two per shipment four times a year for one that ships six per shipment twice a year. Volume for volume.
- No buying any bottles that require extra-aging. It must be ready to drink now.
- The only bottles I’m allowed to bring into the house have a) been given/gifted to me; b) were part of a wine club shipment; c) are necessary for a certain dish I am making, such as Pinot Noir Chocolate Pudding.
- Re-home bottles with twist-offs that have been sitting on a rack for more than a year. Those baby’s need to be consumed. By someone who loves them. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, syrupy-moscato, I'm looking at YOU.
- My husband is not allowed to purchase any more bottles of port. The man seriously has about six bottles, untouched that I am not allowed to open. Even if there’s chocolate dessert in the oven.