I hate wine! There, I said it. I’m usually reluctant to say it because it’s invariably followed by gasps and groans about how I’ve not tried “good” wine, that’s why I hate it. I so desperately WANT to like wine. All my friends like wine, and their friends and their friends…..but I hate it. I don’t like the taste, the alcohol sensation, the tannic dryness or the fruity sweetness. I hate it! So, usually when I am at a function where it’s customary to drink wine or champagne, I politely say no and make up some excuse as to why I can’t have it. The best one is that I’m getting over a cold, and am still on medication so I can’t drink alcohol. Another is that I get tired from wine and I awoke very early this morning for work, and would like to stay awake for the rest of the evening. These excuses usually work and I’m not stuck “explaining” my hatred of wine yet again.
The reason for my excuses is that I’m tired of having to explain my palate to people. I’m not a wine drinker. I’ve tried and tried…..god, how I’ve tried. I’ve tried bad wines, good wines, red wines, white wines, blush wines, champagne, cava, Prosecco…..all of it. I’ve tried different grape varieties: chianti, pinot grigio, chardonnay, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sauvignon blanc, rioja, riesling and gewurtzraminer (to name a few). I hate them all. I lived in one of the world’s most lauded wine-producing countries (Spain), and still ended up hating wine. I’ve searched out information on how to learn to love wine (http://www.wikihow.com/Acquire-the-Taste-for-Wine ), but nothing works. I just don’t like it. I have no issue with wine itself, I have the issue with people who push their love of wine on me. My reasons for making up the stories about why I can’t drink are simple: 1. I don’t want to hear how you can’t believe I don’t like wine, 2. I don’t want to hear about how tasting your favorite brand/type of wine/wine region will make me miraculously like wine and 3. I don’t need you to pour me a glass and force me to down it. When I’ve been forced to try a person’s favorite wine because “after drinking this, you’ll love wine,” I usually try to swallow as much of it as I can in one big gulp so that I don’t have to taste the horrible swill for too long as it sits in my mouth. And….NO, I do not like wine after tasting your favorite!
I like things that many others don’t, but I don’t push my taste on other people. I love anchovies and sardines, especially on pizza, but pretty much in anything. Most people do not, so I don’t force my taste on them. I also love caraway seeds. They have a strong taste that a lot of people can’t handle, but I love them. It’s not REAL rye bread without caraway seeds (unfortunately, they get stuck in my dental work lately, so they’re becoming increasingly difficult for me to eat). I also like gorgonzola cheese, caviar, Campari and escargot (many tastes others find offensive), but I understand that people might not like these things, so I don’t gasp in amazement when someone says they don’t like anchovies. I don’t get my special brand of Italian anchovies (“Scalia,” by the way) and force people to try them, convinced that they’ll like anchovies after tasting these. I’m not an obnoxious prick, like that.
It also upsets me how disturbed people seem to get when I tell them I don’t like mustard either. I’m not talking about the watery, yellow kind (I can’t eat that because I have a turmeric allergy), I’m talking about the expensive, artisanal kind that people cherish like it’s made with gold. Apparently people think that if it costs more, everyone will like it. Well, they’re wrong! Does everyone love caviar? No, and it costs a lot more than some Bavarian mustard! To tell you the truth, I’d rather have some salty beluga spread across my German pretzel than some disgusting mustard. Yet, once again, the comment from people is usually, “you don’t like mustard? Well, wait until you taste THIS mustard!” No, I will NOT wait until I taste THIS mustard because then I’ll be waiting until the end of time because I will NEVER taste this mustard. I know what I like and I know what I hate and no amount of gasping and hard selling your favorite brand is going to make my taste buds miraculously mutate into mustard-loving and wine-drinking tongue bumps!
I do feel a little bad because I concentrated on mustard and wine in this post. There are many foods and drinks I don’t like, but the ones that seem to offend other people the most are my hatred of wine and mustard. I try to avoid those conversations as much as possible by just politely refusing, but people have to push. People think that if they like it, then everyone should. I’m also convinced that some people out there that “love” wine actually don’t, but they pretend they do because “everyone” does. Well, I don’t and I’m tired of people becoming aghast at that fact. People need to eat what they like and stop trying to make everyone else like it too!!