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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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What Goes With Your Breakup?

Breakups and alcohol are inextricably linked, so here are some ideas to get you through your next one. I mean, if you’re going to be lying on the floor listening The Boatman’s Call and crying, you might as well drink something worthy of Nick Cave.

More often than raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, or snozzberries, wine evokes a state of mind or type of person to me. I stick my nose in a glass of boring Merlot, the kind that's marketed to grocery stores and mid-tier hotel restaurants, and get a visceral image of this mean, small-minded office manager I worked for right after I graduated from college. I mutter, “I bet she’s fun at parties.”

Recently, a lovely friend of mine got dumped, and as I searched for the perfect bottle to open to soothe her broken heart and ego, I started thinking about what goes with different types of breakups.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you were the jerk. You cheated, or you were emotionally unavailable and should probably spend your life alone rather than inflict yourself onto any future unwitting partners. For this kind of breakup, consider what we wine dorks call a ‘wine of contemplation.’ Barolo Chinato, a fortified red Italian wine that kind of tastes like cough syrup dipped in felt and dark fairy tales, is made for this type of  moment. It’s a little bitter and great with dark chocolate. 

You’re the dumper, and s/he was an asshat: Congratulations on dumping that asshole! To celebrate your moxie and clean start, it’s gotta be Champagne — let’s go one step further and make it a serious rosé Champagne. And unlike fortified wines, sparkling wine is never as good the next day, which means you’ll have to invite a friend or two over to celebrate/commiserate with you, which is probably a good thing anyway. Or  you could just have a really interesting night and end up way overspending on iTunes and singing along to weird songs you liked in high school and writing long, rambling emails to your mother. Anyway, Champagne can be expensive (and the really good stuff is amazing, so it's a rabbit hole you might not want to go down — ask me how I know!), so feel free to substitute with the rosé sparkler of your choice. Austria and Italy are both producing some good, interesting sparkling rosés these days.

If you’ve been blindsided by that awful, ‘it’s not me, it’s you,’ type of conversation, you need  something reaffirming and classic. Find a wine shop where everyone looks either like a Brooklyn hipster or old enough to be your grandfather and ask for a classic white Burgundy. Consume with butter slathered on a toasted baguette sprinkled with salt. Thank me later.

When you’ve been chucked for someone else, you need something cheering. Something a little bit sweet, like Moscato d’Asti, is just the ticket. It’s like a Mimosa or Bellini, but you don’t have to try to find peach puree. Plus it’s only 5% alcohol, so you can go a little crazy and down most of the bottle without becoming a complete hot mess and drunk dialing him or her.

If you had a mutual breakup resulting from a calm, measured conversation, congratulations! You’re a mature adult. Now leave, you’re making the rest of us feel self-conscious, with your kale smoothies and balanced checking account. It’s time for you to choose your new house wine — something affordable, quaffable, and stylish that you can pull out whenever people come over in a casually sophisticated way. Try something just left of center that might become your new favorite, like northern Italy’s Dolcetto, a fruity red that’s great chilled with pizza, or an interesting white from France's Savoie region that’s great for summer weather.

Whatever you choose, leave your phone with a friend you trust, drink lots of water, and buy some new underwear! Trust me on that last one. Happy heartbreak!

Diane McMartin is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and a graduate of a fancy-pants wine and beverage education program in St. Helena, CA. This required many flashcards and a lot of coffee. She lives in the Washington, DC area, where she works in retail teaching wine education classes, helping customers find the perfect wine, and wading through the seemingly endless ocean of bad Chardonnay out there. She loves cats, Ruffles, ugly Dansko clogs, pilates, and anything with bubbles.



115 Comments / Post A Comment

PatatasBravas

Widowed?

PatatasBravas

What about if an arranged marriage falls through?

PatatasBravas

What if someone is abandoned at the altar?

PatatasBravas

Just saying, I think we need to imagine even more specific pairings.

WHAT GRAPE FOR THOSE WHO ARE SEPARATED BY ONE PARTY'S IMPRISONMENT? FRIGWIGGIN'S QUESTION SHALL NOT REMAIN UNANSWERED

fondue with cheddar

@PatatasBravas Widowed? Regardless of whether it was a good marriage or a bad one, I think the answer is ALL OF THE BOOZE.

highfivesforall

@PatatasBravas
Widowed?
Too sad, next question.

Arranged marriage falls through?
Assuming you hadn't met the person yet - just kind of go about your normal life, I guess. I'm not a wine-on-the-regular type of person, so how about some beers?

Abandoned at the altar?
Sacremental wine - only the blood of Our Lord and Savior will get you through this.

One party is in prison?
Prison wine, obvs.

A. Louise

@PatatasBravas Widowed should either be your SO's favorite drink if you're feeling nostalgic, or the one they always judged you for liking.

My guilty pleasure would be cheap Chardonnay with a few ice cubes, but I just do this in front of the gentleman friend now and receive some excessive eyerolls. IDGAF.

(The ice makes the crappy wine last longer, ok?)

PatatasBravas

What if someone finds out they are being left, because partner has a second family that they prefer?

Eventually I'll stop dreaming up terrible scenarios and brainstorm some drinks.

Pariah Carey

@PatatasBravas For all of the above, including occasions in the article (minus being the dumper), I'd recommend throwing Leaving Las Vegas on the ol' teevee and drinking straight from a bottle of tequila. Cheap tequila.

PatatasBravas

Partner was brainwashed by a cult?

A. Louise

@PatatasBravas being left for a second family? Double fisting two drastically different drinks seems appropriate for this one. Red wine and a White Russian. Amstel Light and a Manhattan.

highfivesforall

@PatatasBravas
Left for a second family?
How about Second Cheapest Wine?

PatatasBravas

@highfivesforall So, for the perfect bitterness at the "abandoned at altar," drink the holy wine while sobbing along to "A Case of You." Croon with your girl Joni!

phlox lombardi

@PatatasBravas These are all way better than my original scenarios! I should do a follow-up.

highfivesforall

@PatatasBravas
Partner was brainwashed by a cult?
Kool-aid sangria.

Keep 'em coming, I'll be here all day.

phlox lombardi

@A. Louise I'm the author, and I drink wine with ice sometimes - no shame! I also like cheap rose with seltzer when it's really hot out, or right after I go to the gym (I've earned it, right? right??)

PatatasBravas

@highfivesforall You're my new best friend, and that video was FLAWLESS.

fondue with cheddar

Your husband knocked up his girlfriend and her husband found out?

PatatasBravas

In the middle of acrimonious divorce and child-timesharing arguments?

PatatasBravas

Thirty-something partner dumped you because they found out you had an abortion when you were nineteen, and they "just can't deal with that" information?

Nicole Cliffe

I would order my dragon to set him on fire, then I would drink his hot blood.

PatatasBravas

The two of you were renovating an old house, found the skeletons of seven children in the basement walls, and couldn't keep going with either the renovations or the relationship?

PatatasBravas

Your partner was so inspired by "Mad Men" that they tried to literally become Don Draper, and so a breakup was in order?

highfivesforall

@PatatasBravas
"Can't deal with it"-dumpee -> Fortified wine, because it's alcoholic enough that after you've poured yourself a glass you can make a molotov cocktail with the rest of it and hurl it through their window. Or what Nicole said.

I'm running out of wines here. Fondue, yours gets all the wine. And some of the fortified wine, also for incendiary reasons.

Don Draper dumper -> Franzia, just to spite their pretentious fancy-whiskey-drinking ass. (Disclaimer: I don't hate on fancy whiskey drinking, just pretentious fancy whiskey drinking.)

Skeletons -> AAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH

A. Louise

@phlox lombardi It's very refreshing! Rose with seltzer sounds like a really lovely and classy version too. High fives for ice in your wine and for a great Hairpin article!

The Lovecats

@A. Louise Put some frozen blueberries in there and we're the fanciest!

stavros

just amazing!!! ♥@m

PatatasBravas

How many jobs are there for Master Sommeliers? Should I pursue this career immediately?

PatatasBravas

No but honestly are there jobs. I need to know.

phlox lombardi

@PatatasBravas There are only a few hundred Master Sommeliers out there, and they are pretty much all doing well. But even if you're a few rungs down from that like me, it's a pretty fun industry!

PatatasBravas

Yum. I look forward to the flashcards!

RNL
RNL

@PatatasBravas I've heard that it's BALLS hard to become a sommelier. Fun and rewarding, I'm sure. But difficult and expensive. I wish I were in the wine industry!

katiemcgillicuddy

@PatatasBravas Anytime I hear about Master Sommeliers, I am reminded of this excellent piece.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/windows-on-the-world-september-11

phlox lombardi

@RNL My secret dream is to become a Master of Wine (similar, but not as service-focused as being a Master Sommelier) and both certifications are really, really hard. Like Jedi Master hard. Just getting my Certified left me with very sweaty palms.

meetapossum

Whew, the Hairpin is all about breakups this week. Is this indicative of spring/April being the season of breakups, which I read about on Nerve?

fondue with cheddar

@meetapossum That's true for me, for sure.

raised amongst catalogs

@meetapossum Holy crap, is that what's going on? My life makes so much more sense right now.

meetapossum

@raised amongst catalogs So I've heard.

Lily Rowan

@meetapossum It's because winter boyfriends don't last, right?

meetapossum

@Lily Rowan I assume that's the reason! You nest in the winter and then get twitterpated in the spring.

RK Fire

@Lily Rowan Of course! They must all be melting due to the warmer temperatures.

whizz_dumb

@meetapossum It's all breakups and showering/hygiene these last couple days. I wasn't a winter boyfriend long enough to be called boyfriend for anyone so maybe I'm on deck for the spring call-ups.

meetapossum

@whizz_dumb Just make sure you have an air conditioner.

frigwiggin

I thought the accompanying image at first was a chain-link fence, which made me wonder what you'd drink after a breakup so that you end up in prison.

fondue with cheddar

@frigwiggin Moonshine that you drank while driving across state lines?

Jinxie

I wasn't sure which wine went best with my last breakup, so I just went with: ALL OF IT ALL THE TIME. Seems to be working out for me so far.

Jinxie

@Jinxie Though I can see how the White Burgundy would've been especially comforting during those first few weeks.

Lucienne

@Jinxie I forever associate white Burgundy with cheating, thanks, Half of a Yellow Sun.

phlox lombardi

@Jinxie White Burgundy is pretty much always wonderful. An expensive habit, though.

alliepants

What about a mutual break-up as the result of a move? Looking for something that will blunt the pain of random circumstance, but won't lower inhibitions to the point of excessive attempts at Skype-ing/emailing/Facebook-stalking.

A. Louise

@alliepants Craft beer and cookies? Chocolate Stout + Chocolate Chip?

like a rabid squirrel

@alliepants When this happened to me, I moved to a place renowned for beer, so I just drank all of that, really cheaply, with my "new friends" a.k.a. people I had a hard time interacting with pre-beer.

garli

One time a dude put on a coldplay mix to break up with me. Drink paring suggestions?

PatatasBravas

Whatever's closest and easiest to consume, so that you can then bash them over the head with the bottle.

alannaofdoom

@garli - FIRE.

Meredith L.

@garli whiskey, Grinderman.

katiemcgillicuddy

@garli You know what? Maybe he was just trying to make you hate him so that you didn't take it too hard. That's what I'm going to pretend, because otherwise, he needs to be hunted down and fed to wolves.

alannaofdoom

@garli - I just had to come back again and share this: long ago when I was a wee freshman, I went to visit a friend at a nearby school on my fall break, and struck up a bit of a flirtation with one of her dorm-mates. Our schools were pretty close, so when the weekend was over I emailed said dorm-mate and asked if he'd like to meet up for a coffee sometime. Super-cazh, right? He replied with a thousand-word essay (literally!) about how, if he were there in person with me, he would gently take my hands and tell me what a special person I am, but unfortunately he isn't ready for a relationship right now, but I shouldn't lose hope because he's certain I'll find someone wonderful someday. There was no suggested soundtrack (surprisingly) but I'm sure it would have been Coldplay. But seriously WHAT. OHMYGODGETOVERYOURSELF.

par_parenthese

@PatatasBravas Man, that just hit exactly the right funny bone for me today, because I pretty near asphyxiated myself laughing.

PatatasBravas

"I'll give you A Rush of Blood to the Head!"

garli

@all Pretty much this break up story is the favorite among all of my friends some of whom met me well after the fact. If we ever run into this dude they all giggle and whisper "coldplay"

At least it wasn't with a GOOD band?

phlox lombardi

@alannaofdoom I would have loved to just reply with a link to a Youtube video of "You're So Vain."

A. Louise

What about if you're in a relationship and you madly love your partner but both of you are currently depressed over jobs & money and your inability to get married or buy a house, much less stave off student loans, because of said jobs and money problems? What if you want to drink yourself to sleep in your half-furnished apartment? What do you drink then?

I'm thinking it's tequila. Cheap tequila.

alliepants

@A. Louise cheap tequila and LOVE. Spend all your money to move to a third-world country and do something romantic, okay?!

fondue with cheddar

@A. Louise ARE YOU ME? SERIOUSLY.

cinnamonskin

@A. Louise Baby, cheap whiskey and lots of humpin'. Money ain't nothing but a number.

RNL
RNL

Haha "overspend on iTunes". After a big breakup, I was like "I NEED BREAKUP MUSIC" one day and bought a whoooole bunch of weird stuff. Like maybe Jewel? I don't remember. I guess it helped. I'm sure wine was involved.

PatatasBravas

@RNL Jewel and two-buck chuck sounds like a helluva night.

raised amongst catalogs

@RNL Dreams last for so long eeeeeeeeven after you're gone...

sandwiches

What if you love your partner and best friend of eight years so much but for some reason can't stop having the urge to break up with them, even when they are in the room with you, comforting you while you cry about wanting to break up with them and how sad that makes you?

Is the answer fire because I'm a terrible person? I feel like it's fire.

raised amongst catalogs

@sandwiches I think you're not terrible. My bf of seven years who is kind of doing the same thing to me is terrible, though. Ok, he's NOT terrible...but I feel feelings about it.
I'm sorry about what you're going through.

sandwiches

@raised amongst catalogs Ugh, I'm so sorry, that's horrible. I hope your bf and I can both stop being dicks very soon.

PatatasBravas

@sandwiches I think the answer is "just enough whiskey to stick to your guns and break up," and then after someone's moved out, "all of the gin and tonics you need to keep your chin up," occasionally interspersed with "lots of Gewürztraminer and good girl friends to support you."

Sorry. It's an awful situation, but you're not awful, not at all. Move whichever direction to need to go with lots of love and support!

sandwiches

@PatatasBravas Man, I cannot tell you how much I really don't want that to be the answer. But thank you.

Michaela D@twitter

@sandwiches That was me last week. (5 yrs, constant urges to breakup. I bit the bullet and initiated the break-up conversation. I still waffle about it, but I think the best indication that I made the right choice is that he didn't fight me very hard.) Ugh! Long relationships. They distort your perception sometimes! Good luck and alllll the comfort to you. I hope you can figure it all out.

sandwiches

@Michaela D@twitter Oof, that's hard, but go you for being strong and biting the bullet! What are you doing to soothe the waffling/post-breakup-ness?

I am really thrown, I have never had the impulse to break it off before, and he (and my mother/sister) basically thinks that the impulse is borne out of school/moving in together (for the first time) stress/anxiety, which... Is unhelpful. Basically I need to be a robot now and have someone just come along and fix the wiring so we can stay together (hoping the counselor I'm meeting with next week will do that?).

Michaela D@twitter

@sandwiches The counselor should definitely help with that!

I'm relying on the council of friends only, which, while great, is not all wisdom and objectivity. For the first few days, I coped by drinking, but now I'm throwing myself into marathon cleaning. (I went hoarder for a year. Another super-subtle sign?) It's a more productive distraction, and I'm not quite up for joining a gym.

Those are pretty big changes, I can see why they'd throw your decision-making impulses out of whack. Just get as much advice as possible, make lists, make a decision, and STICK TO YOUR GUNS. Honestly, you'll end up okay no matter what you decide, because brains are very good at coming to terms with irrevocable decisions. Doubt's an evil thing.

WineRanger

I find that, no matter what the occasion, a fresh rosé from France or Spain makes me feel as if I am sitting in a sunny garden on the island of Capri. And that is a fine feeling indeed.

vunder

Well, Kim Gordon was drinking rosé in the Elle interview, so that seems like a good choice for if you're one half of an iconic indie rock couple that was together for 30 years and then not...but what do *I* drink for that?

PatatasBravas

Pairings for realizing your comments on the Hairpin have made you undateable?

Gulfie

@PatatasBravas the opposite

RK Fire

@Gulf of Finland Anyone who has such a well-organized gif collection must be a fantastic catch!

Roxanne Rholes

@PatatasBravas This is a thing I have worried about. I realized that I talk about the Hairpin enough that my boyfriend might try to figure out who I am on this site and then...oh god.

MissMushkila

@Roxanne Rholes I talk about things people have written on the hairpin/in the comments so much that my boyfriend refers to the site as "your internet friends"

MoxyCrimeFighter

@PatatasBravas I have a friend/former co-worker to whom I frequently used to send Hairpin links, and he's made it his mission to figure out what my commenting handle is. In his words, though, it's super hard because "they all sound just like you, no wonder you spend so much time there." <3 u, 'Pinnies.

cminor

@MissMushkila I do that too, if it doesn't matter where the information came from specifically, I just say "My friends sad:..."

Easier than explaining the comment section of the glorious Hairpin

Meredith L.

I'm normally a beer person, but after a break-up I definitely drink more wine and liquor. (I also do this during finals, Christmas. COOL STRESS REACTIONS, BRAIN).

Drink Portuguese and Austrian whites when you're demanding your friends to come over/eat out with you for distraction - eat steamed mussels, bread with compound butter etc.

When everyone is tired of your crying and you need to get over it, listen to 90s R&B (think "Cars That Go Boom!") and make up dumb, delicious cocktails with fancy liquors like Domaine de Canton that you would never normally buy until you're dancing like a drunk idiot around your apartment.

PomoFrannyGlass

Fernet has been the official drink of my divorce/recovery period. I don't actually like it and only learned what it was a year ago, but it was favored by both of my rebound dudes and even now that I've moved on shots of it mysteriously appear before me at bars even when I haven't ordered them. Breakup magic!

par_parenthese

I want to do this backwards, like, if I tell you the drink, you tell me what kind of breakup.

Chardonnay from a box:
Tawny port:
Lambrusco:

Mostly I just want to talk about lambrusco and how FUCKING DELICIOUS it is and also the time a girlfriend and I went to a swanky cocktail place for dinner and the sexy bartender poured us these perfect little cut-glass coupes of lambrusco to go with our chocolate mousse for dessert, on the house, because we looked so good that night.

PatatasBravas

Chardonnay from a box: on the third date, he defended "Accidental Racist"

Tawny port: an amicable split between you and the sweet divorcee with an adorable daughter entering middle-school in the fall; everything was nice between you two, but not nice enough to keep on going, and the only part of the relationship that you truly loved was spending time with the daughter.

raised amongst catalogs

@par_parenthese I need to start hanging out with you!

par_parenthese

@PatatasBravas D'aw, that second one was so sweet/sad!

@raisie If only that happened with any frequency! I would totally put out for lambrusco.

raised amongst catalogs

@par_parenthese Lambrusco should come with a warning label. It is that enjoyable.

phlox lombardi

@raised amongst catalogs MY PEOPLE. I love Lambrusco so much. It is the best pizza night wine. Trader Joe's frozen pizza, a nice salad with piave shavings and many, many salty kalamata olives, and too much Lambrusco + a marathon viewing of Buffy or La Femme Nikita pretty much describes my ideal Friday night. I may need to get a life.

phlox lombardi

@par_parenthese Chardonnay is one of the more dangerous wines to buy in box or super el cheapo form. Cheap Pinot Grigio is usually merely bland when it's bad, but bad Chardonnay can be downright vile.

raised amongst catalogs

@phlox lombardi Nooooo, I'd say you have life figured out pretty well. Also, you had me at "many, many salty kalamata olives."

par_parenthese

@phlox lombardi You are definitely doing your Friday nights right.

phlox lombardi

@raised amongst catalogs Sometimes I think I could exist on kalamata olives, pita chips (Stacy's, please) and hummus. And Trader Joe's frozen pizza, obviously.

phlox lombardi

@PatatasBravas Perfect.

OwlOfDerision

In what breakup scenario is Qream appropriate?

clipse

@OwlOfDerision Your stalkee has discovered you and called the police?

PatatasBravas

You just broke up with *literally* the last man on earth, and it is *literally* the only alcohol left on earth.

This is all in the Traeger voice in a post-apocalypse setting, of course.

gtrachel

I loved this article so much, and I am going to go get some white Burgundy even though I am not currently going through a breakup.

phlox lombardi

@gtrachel I have many intense thoughts and feelings about white Burgundy, so let me know if you would like suggestions, vintage notes, breathless stories about walking through Le Montrachet and practically kissing the dirt, etc.

Michaela D@twitter

How about what to drink when, after a week of successfully not contacting one's ex, even when drunk, he has changed his facebook photo from the couple's portrait to a selfie with middle finger extended? Something to calm persecuted feelings, but also to toast escaping that sort of person?

sandwiches

@Michaela D@twitter Holy shit, all the congratulatory St. Germain + soda? Aaaaall the congratulatory really expensive whisky? Also have some cupcakes? Cupcakes and a Lagunitas Capp Stout?

Jolly Farton

@Michaela D@twitter :O [literal jaw drop]

PatatasBravas

This calls for ten thousand shandies and a half-dozen lemon curd cupcakes.

phlox lombardi

@PatatasBravas I have never had a lemon curd cupcake, but now I must obtain one.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

I feel like this is one of the Hairpinniest things to ever Hairpin and I love it

phlox lombardi

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) That may be the finest compliment I've ever received.

ccmalls11

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