Should you drink on a play date?
It’s Monday, and I’m still tired. I won the Bertolli Night in Napa with Star Chef Rocco DiSpirito contest, which came with an all expense paid trip to San Francisco. On Friday night, Bertolli took me, along with some other food bloggers, by shuttle to the St. Supery winery in Napa Valley to serve their products paired with wine.
I drank carefully. I had left our 9mo at The Clift Hotel with Grandma, and knew she’d be up at night. And, as she was still on Central time, she’d be up before the sun rose in San Francisco. I didn’t want any trace of a hangover when she shouted her first and only word from her crib: “Up! Up! Up!”
I sampled each wine placed before me, and then pushed it aside. Until their Moscato was poured. I sipped at it until I drank it in its entirety, addicted to its honeyed apricot flavor. It was so pale its coloring was almost that of water with fresh lemons squeezed in it. Usually I’m not a fan of sweet wines, but this one was seamless. One I’d love to pour at my next play date.
“Do you blog about wine?” Michael Schulz, St. Supery’s VP, asked.
“Oh, no,” I said, because I couldn’t. I’m a mother with three children. What would people think of me?
It used to be cool to pour wine at play dates. My friends and I often did. None of us drank to excess; in fact, we usually misplaced our glass before finishing the wine in it because we had diapers to change, fights to break up and lessons to teach. But still we liked to uncork a bottle of wine, whites in the summer and reds in winter, to see which were worth buying again, and which were not. So we took turns deal hunting at Trader Joe’s and Rainbow Foods. Then, while our kids dug in the sandbox, we split one bottle four ways on our patio and compared notes. There is nothing better than pouring a glass of wine with your husband on a Saturday after your kids are tucked in bed, especially if it’s a bottle that came at a great price.
But then in August tragedy struck: a mother’s crash killed eight while she was driving drunk. And suddenly mothers everywhere were suspect. With the negative media that ensued, I felt I couldn’t pour wine at a play date without people thinking it went directly into sippy cups.
Why do we go to such extremes? What happen to moderation? It doesn’t bother me that my children may see me pour a glass of wine; I hope they learn moderation from it.
There is a difference between drinking to relieve your stress, and drinking because you enjoy good wine with friends. A good glass of wine lifts us elsewhere; it pleasures our senses and takes us outside our daily existence, just like good food. As Aaron Pott wrote, “The key to complexity is integration, which allows wines that are complex to seem like one seamless experience with many different singular sensations”. And who better to share that experience with, than friends?
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