Wine I Don’t Drink

There’s a bottle of wine in my refrigerator that I don’t drink. It’s not ‘a vintage,’ nothing special. It’s from a local vineyard, dry as a bone; the kind of wine I like to drink, when I drink wine. Thing is, I don’t drink wine. I don’t drink much at all these days to be honest. I think it’s a seasonal thing. Or a health thing. I stopped drinking for a while after a flare-up of gout. Welcome to middle age, kids.

So the wine sits in the back of my fridge, dejected, rejected, fermented. I open the door to load food in, load food out, curse myself for not buying yummy food. The wine sits there, occasionally taking on a slick sheen when the Iowa summer condenses on it. It’s not judging me. It’s not tempting me. It’s just there, waiting.

The last bottle of wine waited for years. I’ve poured out bottles of wine, gifted them, rarely drunk a glass or two before deciding I didn’t like them. The refrigerator is the wrong place to store wine. You’re supposed to have a cellar, right? I’ve seen that in movies. Or a special wine fridge with a clear door. I’ve seen those in Christmas catalogs.

Rich people drink wine. I am rich; well, I’m comfortable. I’m rich enough I should drink wine. I’m rich enough I should drink expensive scotch, but I grew out of enjoying scotch. Nouveau riche tech kids in Silicon Valley drink expensive Scotch. I’m not Nouveau anything. Thanks to my current obsession with hockey I crave Labatt and Molson. Thanks, Hockey Night In Canada.

I make up stories for my lonely wine. It’s a princess, sequestered in the refrigerator of a dragon, waiting for some Brut to come rescue her. It’s the Sally Albright wine, waiting for a New Year’s Eve kiss. My wine is the ice dancer to the Molson hockey player in an opposites attract romance of my fridge.

My wine was bottled with the hope of being a gift at a dinner party, drunk by couples and spilled on a Trivial Pursuit board, bottled in the hope of bringing solace to some lonely single mom when the kids are at their dad’s. Hell, my wine would settle for being snuck into a dorm at this point. Anything to get away from the ancient pickles and smelly sesame chicken that’s overstayed its welcome.

At the end of the week the wine shares a barren fridge with the half-empty ketchup and an empty bottle of Tabasco. It’s a monolith at the back, holding the fort for the other food that will live there. The wine stands on guard for thee.

Shit. I’m the wine. I was the whole time, Sixth Sense style. M. Noir Chablis.

So cold.

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