Dear Franzia, Cook’s, and Barefoot:
I know, I know: it’s been too long. You probably barely even recognize me at this point. That may also be related to the lack of crop tops and neon in my wardrobe, or the number of Wine Wednesdays that I have recently missed. Graduating from college and moving back home means I’ve been avoiding you lately. That lower shelf at the grocery store hasn’t caught my eye in a few months. My parents’ wine shelf beckons, full of wines that were bottled when I was a preteen. But can I be honest here, cheap wine? I miss you.
As much as I love popping open the Korbel, would I pour it into a Gatorade cooler mixed with Crystal Lite, Sprite, and Smirnoff? It’s you, Cook’s, that I turned to in those times of need. You were there for our apartment’s somewhat ill-advised “Magic Mike” release theme party. When a flash flood struck my college town, leaving us powerless and, tragically, wifi-less, you saved the day with mimosas and board games. Cook’s, you even made it into my grad photos, cementing your place of honor in my memories.
No matter how delightful the 2008 Merlot, does a sip bring back memories of New Year’s 2014? That’s all you, Franzia. You were there for me through every beer-soaked party, providing gluten-free sustenance. I’ll never forget the first time I slapped you, initiating into the hallowed tradition of “slapping the bag”. One of the biggest regrets of my young life is that I chose academic success over celebrating more than one Tour de Franzia by your side.
Don’t think I forgot about you, Barefoot. Your moscato served as the gateway to wine for dozens of my friends. Even the most dedicated anti-winers got along with you. How else would we feel fancy during collegiate date nights than by toasting with our plastic glasses of Barefoot? Your flair for romance singlehandedly kept several of my flirtationships afloat.
I miss you, cheap wine. Your thriftiness is only part of your appeal. My grandpa always says that “the best wine is the one you like”. As much as I like wine tasting in beautiful tasting rooms where the vintner is standing three feet away, I also love my giant jug of moscato. In my ideal version of adulthood, there’s room for both of you on the shelf.