Recommended wine for today’s entry: The 2007 Errazuriz Chardonnay Wild Ferment. This is a chardonnay-dry white table wine from the Casablanca Valley in Chile. Reviewer Jay Miller at erobertparker.com said, “It has an expressive bouquet of buttered toast, spiced apple, and white peach leading to a surprisingly elegant, medium-bodied Chardonnay with tangy flavors and a long, pure finish.” Looks like it sells for $13-$19 — I’m heading out to look for it!
Remember those Heublein premixed cocktails in the mid-1970s? I think they only appealed to two groups of people – the very, very lazy (I mean, how hard is it to take the orange juice from the fridge and throw in a splash of vodka?) … or the very, very young.
In the late ‘70s, drinking ages varied by state. In a 21 state, every kid between 17 and 20 would hustle to their after-school jobs, slaving over the grease-splattering “grill” at fast-food joints, babysitting for obnoxious children, bagging groceries until their arms ached … and why?
Gas money. Enough to get them to a neighboring state (one with a drinking age of 18) on Friday afternoon. At the first store across the state line, they’d load up on little bottles of Cape Codders, strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas and whiskey sours. Then, ever so carefully, they’d stash the sweet nectar of the Gods in the trunk of the car, the brown bag swaddled in their CPO like a papoose, and drive in the right lane, five miles under the speed limit, all the way home.
Now, mind you, I was not one of those hooligans. I could never have acted out this scenario. Because I didn’t have a job. Instead, I had boyfriends who had jobs and were hooligans. But the funniest story about Heublein mixed drinks and underage drinking is one my husband tells.
Here’s how the story goes:
He asked a girl to a dance, but, like many young men, began to regret it as the big date drew closer. So, to “dull the pain,” he chugged a pre-mixed Old Fashioned in his father’s 40-foot Plymouth Fury, then carefully maneuvered the giant vehicle to the girl’s house.
Like the gentleman he is, he went to pick up the date, pinned the mum to her polyester dress and posed for pictures by the fireplace. Then, senses dulled by flashbulb halo and Old Fashioned fog, he loaded the girl in the Fury, put it in gear – the wrong gear – and drove through their decorative (and formerly sturdy) stone wall and into the backyard.
Undaunted, our young hero corrected his wrong. By that I mean simply that he shifted the behemoth into reverse, using every bit of the V8 engine to climb back through the rubble, onto the driveway and onward to the festivities in the gymnasium.
Now, I’m not saying that I would have done differently, nor would most teens. But he never mentioned a word of his stone-crushing cruise through the backyard to the girl’s parents.
And then (you’ll recall that he wasn’t all that interested in the young lady before the date)… well, then he broke up with her. In a letter. I’m sure he would have used texting had it been invented.
Had I been an advertising guru in the ‘70s, I would have written copy for the Heublein premixed drinks like this:
Being 17 isn’t easy, unless you’re Shaun Cassidy or Scott Baio. But with a couple snorts of our Tom Collins, (now in handy and concealable pocket size) you can forget the pain of sitting the bench in basketball. While you’re still on the bench. Hypoglycemic? If you faint dead away in study hall, just grab the strawberry daiquiri from your purse and in no time your sugar will stabilize. And as a bonus, you’ll forget the whole class saw your underpants when you tumbled out of your desk… Dating troubles? If you really want to end it with a girl, but don’t know how, one of our Old Fashioneds will give you the strength of Hercules … enough to send you through the masonry with ease. So fire up dad’s Fury and head across the state line. We’ll be mixing ‘em for you. And don’t forget your allowance.
Luckily, we all grew up. I know that if my hubbie ran over someone’s wall nowadays, he wouldn’t just leave. He’d write a letter and leave it in the mailbox.