In the age of people shouting the hoorahs of horseshit like kale and coconut water, I would like to raise my voice like a mole man in the mob and say, “Red wine!”

Everyone surely knows the myriad benefits of our burgundy friend – including but not limited to antioxidants (which help fight off colds and clean the heart), something called resveratrol (which helps lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, prevent cancer and improve memory), and especially that warm happy feeling in your gut – but I want to talk about what red wine doesn’t do. Because the world can get too built up on the greatness of things without looking at the carafe as a whole. Sure, red wine can stain your sheets if you’re stupid enough to spill it in bed, but you know what red wine doesn’t do? Judge you for drinking red wine.

Red wine doesn’t give you that look when you pour a second glass after dinner, before you bring out the ice-cream and line up the next episode of Felicity. Red wine doesn’t ask you to brush your teeth before you kiss it, even though you explain your teeth are stained with happiness. A kiss from a rose, you say through slurred words to a blank wall of judgement and nope.

Red wine doesn’t hog the sheets or cling to you like a huge hot koala snoring itself into oblivion.

Red wine doesn’t give you shit about the empty or spare red wine bottles that accumulate under the bed even though there is still plenty of room beside that ancient CD collection gathered during a passing Triple J phase in the nineties.

Red wine doesn’t try and penetrate you while you sleep, nudging and poking like a hungry animal through the bars of a cage desperate for a crumb in the night.

Red wine doesn’t make you take out the trash when you’re already in your bed clothes (naked) and ready for your evening of repose (drunk and tired).

Red wine doesn’t enjoy the comedy stylings of the Jackass crew and doesn’t expect you to know what these are or go to any of the movies. Instead you can watch normal films like Cruel Intentions, which is paired so well with a good Cab Sav.

Red wine doesn’t want any fucking kids running around ruining the ordered adult life you spent years attaining.

Red wine doesn’t get emotional and weird every time it sees its parents. Red wine doesn’t even have parents to deal with, it just does its own thing on its own terms and ain’t nobody gonna bring it down. Red wine is the Rizzo. Red wine is the Mary.

Red wine doesn’t ever think Bitcoin is a good idea.

Red wine doesn’t serve you a smaller-sized portion of shepherd’s pie because red wine doesn’t think you need to watch your intake of potatoes because red wine thinks you’re perfect just as you are, and also tastes amazing with potato in any form, and red wine definitely doesn’t have a crooked little cock that you had to learn how to ‘work with’ during those first few months.

Red wine doesn’t have a stupid friend named Rick who likes to visit more than once a week and is nowhere near as good-looking as he should be to get away with being as fuckwitable as he is.

Red wine doesn’t ask you to tone down Taylor Swift. Red wine embraces this new you and gets down with 1989 like everyonefuckingelse.

Red wine doesn’t get emotional and weird every time it sees its parents. Red wine doesn’t even have parents to deal with, it just does its own thing on its own terms and ain’t nobody gonna bring it down. Red wine is the Rizzo. Red wine is the Mary.

Red wine doesn’t cast aside perfectly good New Year plans with Bob and Cheryl at their Mt Martha cottage to drag you to a music festival full of youths and disjointed licentiousness. Doesn’t ditch you in the deep of the dance crowd so that it can get closer with Rick to the action even though the action is everywhere and I am the action dammit! and you had to make friends with a soft-spoken glitter nymph who tried to put her tongue in your mouth, which you went along with mostly because of politeness and a deep need to feel comfort in a very dark place.

Red wine doesn’t make you have sex with it in the bacteria toilets where your lovemaking is completely enveloped in the rancid atmosphere of the discarded abandon of festival youth. And red wine definitely doesn’t make you sleep on a makeshift mattress which is absolutely just two yoga mats pushed together in a two-man tent that was scaled on god knows what tiny humans, instead of the luxury of the guest bed with cotton sheets in a cottage in Mt Martha.

At the end of the day, red wine can do a lot. It can save you from heart attacks, help you with your Sudoku and warm you on a cold winter night with its magic inner hugs.

Some say red wine can’t love back, but that’s just not true because every dash against your lips is softer than that of any boys and if you’re lucky it might even leave a kiss behind on your dry, cracked lips. A postscript to your relationship, as if to say: from wine, with love.


H. D. Thompson is a writer/performer from the gutters of Melbourne. Has written words for SPOOK, Junkee, The Lifted Brow and reviewed films for Subterranean Death Cult. He can also be found at actuallyharry.com and followed at @actuallyharry. Actually.

Photo used under Creative Commons by GF Peck (via Flickr)