Not to sound like a lush or anything™, but I love the booze. All aspects of it. Grape, honey, barley, corn, whatever. I like sitting down to a well-set table and a nice dinner with a fantastically-matched glass of wine to sip and savor, but I also enjoy gulping down a can of cheap beer after mowing the lawn. I’ve been doing single malt scotch tastings and keeping a whisky journal since 2002, but I also like sitting around a campfire and drinking rot-gut until I’m staggering and bleary-eyed.
There are times I drink simply because it tastes good, and times I drink because I want to get stupid. Sometimes both. Well, a little while ago, I was watching Star Trek: The Next Generation re-runs. There’s a great episode where Picard goes home to France for the first time in years. His brother, Robear, is still running the family vineyard. They sit down to the evening meal, and Robear uncorks a bottle of the family wine.
Jean-Luc: Is this the forty-six?
Robear: *tsk* The forty-seven. You’ve been drinking too much of that… what’s it called? Synthahol? Spoiled your palette.
Jean-Luc: On the contrary, I think it heightens one’s appreciation for the genuine article.
(For the non-Trekkies in the room, synthahol is a substitute for alcohol that does not impair judgment like alcohol does.)
Heightens one’s appreciation for the genuine article. I love that line, and it got me thinking… Would I drink wine, beer and whisky if it was non-alcoholic?
All things considered, is it the taste, the buzz, or both…?
What about you? If beer, wine and spirits contained no alcohol, would you still have that glass of fantastic wine with dinner, that ice-cold beer after moving the lawn, or that treasured dram of 15-year-old whisky?
Me? I’d probably stop drinking whisky, because even though I dearly love exploring the subtle nuances of different single malts, spending that kind of money on a non-alcoholic drink would be silly. I’d still drink wine and meads, since finding a good match can really enhance a meal, irregardless of alcohol content. Complimenting a strip steak or a plate of fine cheeses with a can of Diet Coke or a glass of cranberry juice just wouldn’t cut it.
I’m not sure about beer. I’m not much of a beer drinker anyway, so I’d probably stop altogether if it was all non-alcoholic. I went through a phase when I was drinking non-alcoholic beer because it was thirst-quenching, but it got a bit expensive. An ice cold Fresca would do the trick after mowing the lawn, I guess.
Anyhow, what about you…? Comment is invited.
Cross-posted to my own journal, wine, in_vino_veritas, tasting_notes, singlemalt, mead_lovers, and bourbonites.