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Picklepuss Wines for Valentine’s Day Cynics

Last year, a poll by Glamour magazine showed that 65% of Glamour readers hate Valentine’s Day. Stop by any V-Day-themed comment thread and you are likely to read a lot of this:

Valentine’s Day is like herpes: just when you think its gone for good, it rears its ugly head once more.

Every other day of the year, the romantically unattached flaunt their free-agent status. On Valentine’s Day, the boringly monogamous strike back, putting on their fancy eatin’ duds and going out on the town for dinner, drinks, and maybe a foxtrot before heading back home by ten o’clock. You’d think swingin’ singles would be sporting about this, but they’re not. Instead, they bitch and piss and moan about the Hallmark/Godiva Chocolates conspiracy to make them feel bad.

Let me be clear about this: If there were such a conspiracy, I would wholeheartedly support it if for no other reason than single people putting pictures like this where I can find them.

Alas, there is no conspiracy to make single people feel bad — even though they should, every day. The conspiracy is to get everyone to buy stuff they don’t need, like $50-an-ounce chocolates or stones engraved with terms of endearment.

The wineblogosphere is complicit in this, plotting with wine publicists to load uncountable WordPress pages with sweet combinations of wine and chocolate that no V-Day enthusiasts will bother to track down. For example:

Dark Chocolate and Masi Costasera Classico Amarone, Italy.

My question is: who’s looking out for the aesthetic interests of the 65% who hate Valentine’s Day, who are lonely and embittered because, this day, their favorite pick-up spot is filled with grown-ups reliving the days when they could tear off a quickie behind a pinball machine without having to call their chiropractor? What of those people who spend Valentine’s Day writing Internet screeds about how unfair it is that one day a year is set aside for people who aren’t in a 24-hour-a-day hunt for something or someone they’re going to regret the next morning?

Who’s writing advice for this guy?

Don’t care much for Valentine’s Day. It’s just another method for retail businesses to hit men with a guilt trip. It’s sexist, too. Seriously, have you ever seen an advertisement where a woman buys a gift for her man for Valentine’s Day?

I understand this guy’s bitterness, which is larger than any single holiday. I’ll write for him even if no one else will. I’ll find the perfect wine to match his pathos. I’ll consider the way he combines cheapness and gender resentment in a way that screams, “I’m 35 years old and live in my parents’ basement,” and my wineblogging advice to him will be to spend two hours pay from his job at the gun store on a bottle of Little Black Dress Chardonnay. It is, like Valentine’s Day resentment, cheap and common. It’ll remind him that there’s a world out there that likes women and wants to please them, and that he’s not part of that world, which means he’s going to keep attending Ron Paul rallies and Star Trek conventions alone for the rest of his life.

Here’s a tweet that slinked by this afternoon, hands shoved deeply in its pockets, grumbling sourly at no one in particular:

Roses are shut up, violets are shut up. Sugar is shut up and SHUT UP. #ValentinesDay

I’m not sure what type of wine to recommend to this guy. It would have to be dark, dense, unpleasant, prone to violence. I don’t drink wine like that, so I’ll defer to the experts at, who recommend Night Train Express, which delivers “a NyQuil-like drowsiness” that deadens the soul and shut up.

As for women being the romantic gender, well:

Keep the roses, the balloons (both of which I’ll have to throw out later when they die), the chocolate and the poofy card. What do women really want? For someone to do the dishes. Do the dishes without complaint or grousing or being told to. Just do them.

While he’s doing the dishes — and maybe texting about his sexless-buzzkill-of-a-wife with the MILF in accounting who’s been hinting around about a nooner — this sweetheart can toast her world-weary strong-womanhood with a couple of juice jars of Andre Cold Duck. At three bucks a bottle, it’s a blend of bulk “champagne” and some kind of red wine that was too horrible to make the Franzia cut. It’s named for the medieval tradition of mixing party aftermath into a single drink for consumption the morning after, when vomiting would be an improvement.

The irony of Valentine’s Day is that there are so many lonely people. You’d think they’d just get together or something, but no. Instead, they wallow in their scorn:

 Even in years past when I had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, I thought it was overrated and far over-hyped.

Yeah, surrrrre. I’d bet the contents of my secret box under the basement stairs — the one full of wine I haven’t told my wife about because she would rather have had a new car — against a Big Mac that you were one of those sappy girls who started to refer to you and your boyfriend as “we” halfway through the first date. He started backing off as V-Day approached because you kept dropping hints about a ring, and when the holiday passed with nothing but your valentine to him returned stamped “moved, no forwarding address,” your self-protective cynicism kicked in. That’s your pose now — Valentine’s Day is overrated — but we all know you’ve got a romantic bottle of something pink in the fridge, just in case you can find the backup batteries for the current Mr. Right, who has no choice but to wait in your nightstand for the horrors to come.

Finally, there’s this guy:

Normally, I don’t encourage people to burn down flower shops (make sure your firebombs are wrapped in pink packaging), hunt down and eviscerate candy-company executives (despite their hard exterior they’re gooey on the inside), or use VD cards to give Hallmark employees a million little papercuts (bind them with caramel so they can’t move), but because Feb. 14th is apparently so different (it’s the day you actually love loved ones!!!!!11!1), I’m going to make an exception.

There’s only one wine for this guy, a wine that is both cockeyed and repulsive, that makes no sense on any level but still has its advocates: retsina. A throwback to the day when wine containers were sealed with pine tar, retsina brings the joy of turpentine to drinking — a perfect analog to those people who bring the joy of resentment to a day set aside to commemorate love.

Drink up, suckers.