It is scenic autumn in Harvard Square, and today my friends and I decide to take a booze trip to Cambridge Wine and Spirits. The aim is two-fold: 1) My roommate has just turned 21, and still feels that legally acquiring her own alcohol makes her a self-actualized woman, and 2) We are throwing a party. We have 40 people to intoxicate; my bank balance and the level of fucks I give are both so low, the wines I choose are named after serving suggestions.
Franzia “Chillable Red”
The liqueur aisle at Cambridge Wine and Spirits is stocked with lethal, sexy, fruity, jewel-toned serums baring their rich purple innards, messy as a crush of blackberries passed between young lovers’ tongues. The shining evil bottles pout on the shelves like glossy cats, silky and dangerous and just waiting for me to stroke them with my super-glam nails. (This week, said nails glitter with pink and gold confetti; “They look,” says my friend and editor, “Like you fingerfucked Aphrodite.”) I, however, do not choose any of these sirens, because they are not Franzia, and when I, like God, saw Franzia, I said, “Yea, it is affordable and of bad quality; therefore it is good.” And here it is: a bag in a box is hardly enough to contain this red’s bouquet of vinegar and plum juice. When I finally arrive home and sample this beauty, its notes of synthetic vanilla and red Capri Sun saunter across my tongue. We do not chill the Chillable Red; neither our mini fridge nor our hopes are big enough.
Franzia “Refreshing White”
Count on queers to turn a roomful of confused drunk people into a party. It is 11:45 p.m., and my friends have descended in a pack of non-normative feelings. Also, Nicki Minaj. I distribute Refreshing White to everybody, because we are in need of refreshment. The first sip blisters my tongue. The wine is crisp as an apple slice after a day in a ziplock bag, with similar gestures towards nutmeg. It has low notes of whiskey. At this point, my good friend and several people I have never seen before decide it is an excellent idea to play “slap the bag” with the packet of Refreshing White. It is not an excellent idea; it is like trying to play beach volleyball with a Stadium Pal at the end of a long, bathroomless day.
Purple Moon Chardonnay
($3.99/bottle. Trader Joe’s; reviewed weeks ago and abandoned half-full in my common room, put out at the party in the hopes it would be consumed; it wasn’t.)
I awake with a moderately serious hangover and visions of the sexual encounter I walked in on the night before dancing like horny sugarplums through my head. Because I am incredibly proactive and energetic, I commit to cleaning the common room. I successfully recycle the alarmingly empty vodka and gin bottles, but Purple Moon—like me at a seventh grade dance—is sitting weeping with a bad haircut on the sidelines, untasted and unloved. I no longer want to deal with its feelings, so I chug the last two gulps and discard. The pleasant sweetness of the wine’s youth has turned bitter, much like I will be as a single woman in my mid-thirties as I sit drinking mom wines while jealously hate-liking my friends’ wedding photos. Its previously firm bubbles have sagged to the floor like my future breasts. To ward off the inevitable, I dress for brunch in wedges.
This post originally appeared at The Harvard Crimson.