What wine pairs with breaking up?
So I read an article in the New York Times recently called The Stuff of Broken Dreams http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/fashion/museum-of-broken-relationships-los-angeles.html?_r=0 about a Museum in Los Angeles that displays the leftover relics from failed relationships. The owner of this museum talked about the future of breaking up. He predicted buying "Breakup Insurance" where you would call a number if you broke up and "someone will come and get you in a car, take you to a bar, buy you a drink and spend two hours talking with you".
This got me thinking, if I were the person you called on your "Breakup Insurance" number, what wine would I serve you to make you feel better? What do you serve with heartbreak?
Here are five factors to look for in wine following a breakup.
1. High Alcohol. Let’s be honest, the reason we are drinking here is to numb the pain. Just like Aspirin for a headache, get an "Extra Strength" wine with more of the active ingredient.
2. Low Cost. This isn't the time to buy a really incredible, complex, multifaceted wine. I'm not suggesting you buy rot-gut, but don't waste your money on a really nice bottle of wine. You won't appreciate all of the nuances and complexities. Get something $20 or under in my opinion. This also leaves more money to buy multiple bottles.
3. Low in Acid. I love wines that are incredibly tart. I'm very comfortable at about 9.5 on the pucker scale. But while the searing acidity may make my food taste twice as good, this isn't the time for that wine, you’ve had enough acid in your day already. You will be drinking a lot of this bottle, and likely on its own, and that much acidity can make your teeth hurt and your stomach feel sour. Opt for one from a warmer climate, like California, Argentina, or Australia that will have less of a harsh, acidic flavor.
4. Fruit-Forward. While I love wines that taste like dirt, this isn't the time for that either. Reach instead for a big, rich, fruity wine that will comfort you like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket. Fruity wines are made to fly solo without any food so it's a great choice for a night like this. Now is the time for a rich, hedonistic, indulgent wine like Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, or Chardonnay.
5. Drink Your Favorite. Go for a classic wine that you love, whatever that is. Whether it’s Moscato, Muscadine or White Zinfandel, choose a wine that comforts you and makes you happy. This is not a time to worry about the expectations of your friends or what Robert Parker thought of the wine. If it makes you happy, this is the night for it.
I think the wine that best fits all of these factors is hot climate California Zinfandel. It's high in alcohol, low in acid and tannins, rich fruity and easy drinking. If you don't want to over think it, try a Zinfandel from Lodi.
Breaking up is never easy, even if it’s amicable or you do the breaking up. Make your night better by taking care of yourself and indulging a little. Put on a good movie, wrap yourself in a blanket, cook up some comfort food and pop open a good bottle of wine. Hopefully things will seem better in the morning. Just don't call your ex!