Before I was aware that some drinks have gender, I walked into a bar on the Iron Range in northern Minnesota, a bar filled with lumberjacks and steel workers, and ordered a pink squirrel. I know, it should have been obvious but I grew up in a home without booze and was new to drinking so I ordered the only drink I was familiar with–the one my friend’s mom drank. For anyone who tells you that it’s never too late to change your image, I can tell you that in some cases, it is. In this case there was no recovery and in spite of quickly recognizing my error and adding “and make it in a dirty glass!” my masculinity could not be saved that day.
Now anyone who reads this column knows that I don’t really believe that a drink defines you. I repeatedly preach that you should drink what you want. But there is a perception out there in the general public that begs the question, what determines whether a drink is male or female? To help you sort it out, here are a few basic guidelines.
If a drink: can’t keep the TV on one channel for more than three seconds, won’t buy new underwear until the old ones look like a tattered flag from the civil war, cleans it’s ears with the car keys, or has at least one picture of itself holding a fish—it’s a male drink. If a drink: believes the cat is inconsolable because it doesn’t like its collar, keeps you waiting for everything, owns a miniature tool kit containing nothing more than three tools that are almost broken, or requires four times the closet space of other drinks—it’s a female drink. Remember this when you’re ordering in a Lumberjack bar.
Rosenblum 2008, Richard Sauret Reserve Zinfandel ($27.99): A bit pricy? Yes, but it really delivers. This wine is big and masculine and powerful but at the same time is so surprisingly refined it reminds me of a lumberjack you meet at a party who suddenly begins speaking eloquently about impressionist art. It carries those macho flavors of smoke, tobacco, dark fruit, and leather and then presents them in a way that makes them seem almost feminine. Rosenblum is also the perfect match for barbequed ribs while watching the baseball game—just don’t hand it the remote.