Post 11: 3 Strategies for Using Wine to Cope with your Family During the Holidays

I mean, some people like turkey. Some people like mashed potatoes. And some people like fruit salad. Grape salad, actually. Except that the grapes are not necessarily whole. And you can drink them. And they are alcoholic.

Wine. I am talking about wine.

Many of us have at least one family member that is pretty much unbearable to be around. But, the holidays are supposed to be when everyone gets together to share and be happy in togetherness and blah, blah, blah. Whether it’s your racist uncle, your drunk miserable grandma, your druggie cousin, your obnoxiously conservative and ignorant Trump-loving family members, or your overbearing parents (possibly all of the above), sometimes you need a crutch to help take the edge off of being in such close proximity. Wine is that crutch.

So, you generously bring several bottles of wine with you to share with everyone except for the alcoholic and the person who doesn’t drink for religious reasons. And you possibly keep a few hidden, so they don’t realize exactly how many severals¹ of wine you brought.

sev·er·als /ˈsev(ə)rəls/: (plural of several) determiner & pronoun:
1. an undetermined amount that doesn’t seem unreasonable, but probably is because let’s be honest, the holidays can be difficult to say the least. And then multiply that by like 3-5 or so. You can’t be too cautious. At worst, you have leftover bottles for home.
2. (plural of) more than two. HAHA HaHAhA! HA! Only three wine bottles??? Pfffft! You have to share this stuff!

There are 3 strategies that are pretty solid in your quest to make the holidays enjoyable:

1. Buy the same kind in bulk.

Oh yeah, I found these on sale, such a good deal!!

If you time it right, no one will notice that you’re on the 3rd bottle (of the 3 you brought in with you), because there are two more full ones on the counter.

For this strategy, you’ll need to be careful about timing. You need to make sure that you bring the empty bottles out with you to the car (so that no one discovers them in the trash/recycling) and bring back replacement bottles. You can also use a cabinet that you are 100% certain no one will go in as a staging area. But, you’ll have to be careful numerically, because bringing 10 bottles of wine out of the house at the end of the party will not exactly be subtle.

2. Buy a variety. A ridiculous variety.

Oh I couldn’t decide, because I know that Grandma June loves her Zinfandels, Aunt Lorrie loves her pinot grigios, and some of the bottles were just too cute! I couldn’t pass them up! And the store had a buy 6, get 30% off sale!

You just found a way to subtly bring 12 bottles of wine inside. Go you!

This important part of this plan is to make sure that you get the store-brand 6-bottle wine carriers. You need to let no suspicion exist that the amount of wine you brought was contrived. If you get 2 carriers (6 bottles × 2 carriers = 12 bottles), then it will just look like you’re evenly carrying things. Put them on the ground quickly so that no one notices that your 6-packs – a designation usually given to single-serving sized bottles – are filled with full-sized bottles of wine. If needed, have a third six-pack in the car. If anyone asks you about the most recent bottle of wine you just pulled out, distract them with the story of the sale you found and how nifty the label is, and then offer them a sip, or even better, a glass of their own. Sharing is caring, and if everyone is drinking, they’ll assume that is the reason why the wine is running out so quickly – even if everyone is still on their 1st glass while you’re on your 4th.

3. Find the wines that have the highest alcohol percentage.

I brought a few bottles of wine to share with everyone!

I’d like to thank this article for bringing me up to speed on the exact numbers: Wine: From the Lightest to the Strongest.

My favorite in the 20% alcohol per volume list is a good port. But feel free to choose a variety of ~20% wines. Wines range from about 5.5% to 20%, so you can effectively get ~3.64 times the amount of alcohol per bottle. Instead of 12 bottles, you bring between 3 and 4. More ideally 4.

20%÷ 5.5% = 3.6363636363… = ~3.64 times the amount of alcohol per bottle (rounded)
12 bottles ÷ 3.63636364ish amount in each bottle 20% bottle = 3.2999999…
= ~ 3 to 4 bottles needed of 20% wine as opposed to 12 bottles of 5.5% wine
And some people think math isn’t important!

The wine may go more quickly, but it will have the desired effect without worrying about the judgement from the family members around you. You also won’t have to worry about balancing out how many bottles you bring in versus leave in your car. You’ll probably spend less money, too!

Happy Holidays!


Tweet me @PandoraCray!

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