The Adventures of a 35yo (Alcohol) Virgin

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hit counter At 35 years old, I had never tasted, tried or drank an alcoholic drink of any kind. During 2012 that all changes drink by drink and you get to enjoy the results post by post.

Pinot Noir

Je ne parle pas français, donc si vous pouvez lire ce, bon pour vous, car j’ai utilisé un service de traduction en ligne.

How pissed would you be if I wrote the entire blog post in French? (Unless you read & speak French and then you’re sitting there saying “Oh, ce serait merveilleux!”) But thankfully for most of you, I’m way too lazy to keep using the Google translation engine.

In case you didn’t know, yesterday was National Drink Wine Day—no, I am not making this up, I don’t need to on the Adventure—and as a recent convert to the Religion of Alcohol Exploration (ok, I made that up) I get to celebrate.

Part of the frustration fun of the Adventure is trying to frequently align the right place or moment with the right firstdrink.  Working on a limited budget, I try to design this part of the plan smartly.  DC is ripe with amazing places to eat & drink and sometimes it can be overwhelming. And even with 160+ drinks this year, I’m trying to not go to the same place more than a few times.

For example, I was originally going to have a couple of butternipple firstshots yesterday. (stop rolling your eyes) But where do you drop in as a 35yo guy just to grab a couple of goofy starter shots? A dive bar? A national chain? I’m still trying to sort that out.  I don’t want to waste a great beer bar with a couple of silly shots, so I’m trying to educate myself on matching drinks with bars.

Ah, but but after learning of National Drink Wine Day, I was relieved of this immediate worry and started looking up solid wine bars in the District—and there are many.  I quickly came upon Bistro La Bonne, a well reviewed, French wine bar bistro down on U St.

Heading down in the late afternoon, Joe and I went and grabbed a happy hour dinner at the bar and a glass of wine. I ordered my first Pinor Noir after a solid suggestion from @DcWineWeek.

I’ve not found a white wine I’ve loved yet having tried moscato, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc *shudder*, but some were better than others. And this was only my 2nd red, having really loved and adored my firstdrinks of port a few weeks back.

But I think I’m finding that the signs are pointing to me being more of a red wine lover, apparently.

The Pinot Noir was dry, tart, smooth and only slightly, faintly sweet. It had a solid alcohol flavor that was more warming than flinch-inducing. It was strongly woody but bright. I could taste the rich grapes and a touch of licorice, a bit of a floral note. The finish was almost nutty with a rich taste of purple grape skin.

I really liked it. It was calm, simple. Unlike what I found in the port, the Pinor Noir didn’t transform with every sip, but that was kinda nice. Every sip was similar, you knew what to expect like a favorite re-run.

And the French peasant food at Bistro La Bonne was really great. I had a open faced ham & cheese and probably the best butter, onion and herb roasted carrots I’ve ever had. I almost had to keep fighting Joe off of them and he’s not a cooked carrot fan. That some four-star carrots, folks.

The wine was—and please forgive me if I’m writing this down wrong—a Domaine de la Couperie vin du val de loire pinot noir 2010

I don’t know if this is a fancy, simple, expensive, generic or award winning wine, but it was damn good. And as far as drinks go, that’s all that matters to me. However, if you know more about this wine brand or the vineyard, I’d love to know more. In English. Seriously.

So, Happy National Drink Wine Day everyone! And don’t worry if you missed it, there is always tomorrow. No, seriously, and the next day. And every day of the week, really. Every day is “drink wine day” if that’s your thing. It’s not like Christmas or Arbor Day. Do your thing wine-lovers.  As I’m discovering, I’m kinda doing my thing too.

Et comme mon préféré Vulcan pourrait dire "Vivent longtemps et prospérer, les chiennes!"

Cheers, Ben

PS: I am on the lookout for a great DC bar to have a butterynipple. I’m up for suggestions.  I’m also officially taking suggestions for my 25th firstdrink. I’m looking for weird or regional or unique suggestions. Something fantastic off the beaten path and I’ll videoblog (vlog) the whole thing. Ohhh, did you just get the chills? Oh, sorry, probably just me.

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