SLOW PRESS CHARDONNAY—on the yeasty side of history

My fellow inebriates,

On the way home from dropping Miss V off at work (yes, 15 and productive—more on that another time) CFOX radio announced a song we LOVE.

Only, CFOX announced it as: “Vintage CFOX.” As though CFOX ever played this song back in the day when it came out. Which it did not; it was strictly a classic rock station.

This may seem like no big deal. But it illustrates the impulse that all individuals, organizations and institutions have to scramble to the right side of history after the fact.

More nefariously, it illustrates how simply history can be rewritten and never questioned. While it’s arguably trivial if CFOX wants to claim it used to play the Cure and Depeche Mode and Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Public Image Limited and the Smiths—the historical fact is that it did not. If you were nerdy enough to like those bands, you had to discover them on your own back then.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We love that CFOX played this song today. But it isn’t a “vintage CFOX” song.

Why is this important? My fellow inebriates, it’s important because this stuff is happening in front of us all the time. With larger issues. With more complex issues. We’re currently seeing pendulum swings on topics like gender medicine, the origins of COVID, whether Justin Trudeau ever called anyone a misogynist for refusing a vaccine, and much more. And each time a swing happens, people scurry like rats to the “right side.” Sometimes the internet catches them; sometimes it doesn’t. Rarely is everyone paying enough attention for it to register that history is constantly being rewritten.

Slow Press Chardonnay

If this feels unsettling, it’s because it is. Personally, I prefer the brand of “unsettling” that comes from downing a bottle of middling Chardonnay. Slow Press is a good example. On sale for $15.99 at my local booze store, this Californian white is big and bold and hits all the proper oaky, buttery notes. But it also has an overly yeasty profile that overtakes its subtle tree fruit notes and leaves me with almost a cream cheese aftertaste that I don’t really love. On top of that, it feels unnaturally acidic.

The unsettling part of all this is that I can’t decide whether I like it. I mean, I like imbibing anything with 14.1% alcohol. But would I buy this particular wine again? And what if I say I would, and I tell you I would, and then I do go out and buy it again, and then I decide I don’t like it so much, and instead of telling you I’ve had second thoughts, I just edit my blog post to say I never cared much for it in the first place? This way, I can be on the right side of Chardonnay…

But I wouldn’t do that, my fellow inebriates. I’m much too incompetent to edit my own history. So I leave to your own impeccable judgment to buy this wine, or not, and to listen to the Cure, or not, and to partake in political discourse thoughtfully and kindly, without straw-manning other people’s arguments and before consuming an entire bottle of wine. And to change your mind freely, while having the bravery to acknowledge what you thought before and explain the path to your new thinking.

According to my local booze store’s write-up on Slow Press Chardonnay, it goes well with fish tacos, so you could try eating some of those too, while listening to the Cure (which you never heard on CFOX in 1992)… or not.

Tame that New Year’s hangover! 12 ideas for before, during and after your celebration

Go ahead, call me irresponsible, but I’m already planning my New Year’s hangover. And if planning to lose control (“I’m gonna get so trashed, man”) smacks of high school, well then, you flatter me, because no school would take my furry ass. I’m an ignoramus.

Except where getting drunk is concerned. Here, then, is some arguably misguided expertise on how to deal with the aftermath of New Year.

Preemptive Steps:

If I weren't furry this would really sting.

Rub some lemon under your armpits.

  • Say what? Just chop up a lemon (or lime) and squeeze the juice into your pits. Apparently they do this in Puerto Rico before getting hammered.
  • Reliable? Sure—at making you lemony fresh.
  • Verdict? Conceived by a sadist proffering the advice to friends with freshly shaved pits. D-

Eat before drinking.

  • Say what? Fill your tummy with an absorbent meal. Make it a proper one; pouring tequila on top of a greasy snack guarantees indigestion.
  • Reliable? Too sensible to be true, methinks.
  • Verdict? For solid-food eaters, it sounds like a plan. B+

Tripe Soup.

  • Say what? OMG, I can’t say it again.
  • Reliable? Both preventive and restorative, it’s a reputed Turkish panacea for excessive drinking.
  • Verdict? Unknown (and do me a favor, peeps, don’t tell me if you try it).

While Drinking:

Stick with one alcohol type.

  • Say what? When you mix your drinks you load your body up with a vast array of flavors and additives, taxing your body’s ability to process the alcohol.
  • Reliable? Solid advice, but a little boring.
  • Verdict? For responsible types this is a go. B+

Clear is good.

Choose clear booze (vodka/gin) over dark (whiskey/dark rum).

  • Say what? Darker alcohol types have more congeners, which make for worse hangovers.
  • Reliable? Studies show dark liquors such as brandy cause the worst hangovers, followed in descending order by red wine, rum, whiskey, white wine, gin and vodka.
  • Verdict? Vodka looks good but so does bourbon. B

Ease up on the fizz.

  • Say what? Carbonation hastens delivery of alcohol through your system.
  • Reliable? YEAH! Pass the champers. Oh wait—if you’re avoiding getting drunk you’ll want to moderate your champagne consumption.
  • Verdict? Save the bubbly for midnight. B+

Maintain hydration.

  • Say what? Alcohol makes you pee, and you need to replace that water. Alternate glasses of water with alcoholic beverages.
  • Reliable? Basic science.
  • Verdict? OMG, you’ll really have to pee if you drink water too! You’ll be in and out of the stall all evening. B-

The Morning After:

Hair of the Buffalo—drink some Buffalo Milk.

  • Say what? No, you don’t have to handle any buffalo teats. Buffalo Milk is the name of a Namibian ice cream float made with ice cream, dark rum, cream liqueur, spiced rum and whole cream. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a hangover to justify drinking that.
  • Reliable? The hair of the dog is classic. Getting tipsy without getting blitzed will ease you out of your rough state into happy mode again. The hair of the buffalo goes one step further, fortifying you with rich cream and sugar.
  • Verdict? A good reason to drag yourself to life on New Year’s Day. B+

Cucumber juice with salt.

  • Say what? You have to juice a cucumber, add salt to the juice and knock it back.
  • Reliable? This Russian remedy may be vodka-specific. I’ll have to drink more vodka and research it.
  • Verdict? I’ve no idea how much salt to use, and the juicer makes a loud noise. C

Sheep lungs and owl eggs.

  • Say what? The ancient Romans swore by this après-toga party remedy.
  • Reliable? Picturing myself aloft in the claws of an angry owl, I very much doubt it.
  • Verdict? If you’re energetic enough to disembowel a sheep and wrest an owl’s eggs away from it for breakfast, you’re not hungover. C-

Bloody Mary.

  • Say what? Replenish your alcohol levels while hydrating yourself with nourishing tomato juice and celery.
  • Reliable? You gotta know it.
  • Verdict? A+

Rabbit dropping tea.

  • Say what? Back in the wild west, cowboys put rabbit pellets in their tea the morning after tying one on.
  • Reliable? I don’t see too many cowboys drinking tea. This might be apocryphal.
  • Verdict? Rabbits are pretty generous with their droppings, so it wouldn’t be too hard to try. You go first… D-