Guys Uncorked

A guide to picking out the sour grapes

On a recent vineyard tour, my friends Jen and David and I really tried to get into the spirit of wine tasting ‑- swirling the wines in the glasses, trying to decipher their complex flavors and pick up on their nuances. We were still working our way through the reds when David suggested we try a merlot.

I thought long and hard about merlot, specifically about why I didn't want to taste one. Merlot isn't a bad wine, per se, just one I've always found rather unremarkable. If someone brought a merlot to a dinner party I was hosting, I would no doubt drink it and enjoy it. Would I ever bring a merlot to someone else's dinner party, though? Probably not. I'd opt for something more exciting, like a shiraz or a viognier.

All of these reasons for my anti-merlot stance were running through my head, but instead of voicing them, I blurted out, "You know what merlot is like? Merlot is like a really nice guy who you keep on dating because he hasn't given you a reason to dump him. He seems like a great catch, but really, you're just not that into him."

Truth be told, a girl could do a lot worse than a merlot. Moms love merlots. Merlots won't embarrass you on the dance floor, provided you're not doing anything crazy like a tango or a salsa. Merlots will go to chick flicks with you, and they won't entirely hate them. Merlots have stable jobs and make good fathers and husbands.

So what's wrong with a merlot? Nothing. That's why the fact that, no matter how hard you try, you still don't want to tear his clothes off is so distressing. You know he's good for you. He's just not sexy or exciting or any of the other things that make your pulse race and your breath quicken ‑- you know, he's not anything like the guys who are bad for you.

Speaking of guys who are bad for you...

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