The Wine is Worth It
People know I love wine because everyone I draw is holding a wine glass. So much so that whenever sauvignon blanc is mentioned, all the cartoonists say “Speaking of the devil, where is Hilary!? We love Hilary even more than we love sauv blanc!”
I grew up next to a vineyard in California’s wine country, my boyfriend is a wine salesman, all my family friends own wineries, but would you believe that after all that, I’m still not a snob?
How could it be! How did I escape the patronizing behavior! WELL!!! What everyone does not always know is that as much as I love wine, what I really love white wine on ice. That’s right people! I defile my wine! I water that shit down! I’m not the lush you think I am!
This tradition began centuries ago with my mother and her sisters. Whenever they sat around with a 5 PM bottle of pinot grigio on the patio or ordered one at the local pizzeria as the children screamed, they quickly followed their order with “a cup of ice please!!”
At first people GUFFAWED! Frasier himself appeared to look down upon them! Who would do this? In wine country, no less!
But little did the Vaughan sisters know, their ice habit, would soon hit the entire country like a tidal wave. But really, more like… a hail wave, because… it was ice.
Moms from East to West found themselves reaching in an ice bucket to fill their wine cups, so they wouldn’t have heartburn in the morning! So they weren’t too drunk to make dinner! It’s not about keeping your wine cold, like some fools might think, it’s about making your ever gentle buzz last without a headache! It’s literal genius.
I picked this week’s theme before I knew the Supreme Court would be setting the world on fire, so my apologies for not being on theme this week, but, I will say, all of this calls for more wine as well as a call to action.
Like many women over 35, I mostly stick to white wine these days, and have been known to add an ice cube to my sauvignon blanc. But I still have a soft spot for beaujolais, a very drinkable red whose annual release is a springtime tradition in France, and, to a lesser extent, at my local Trader Joe’s.
Wine seems to leak its way into my cartoons whether I notice it consciously or not. Sometimes it literally spills on the paper. My sister is a sommelier in Australia and has indoctrinated me with all manner of esoteric viticultural vernacular that I could only ever hope to use to sound like I know what I’m talking about while doing that whole “Swilling-wine-and-giving-the-waiter-a-nod” pantomime we all do.
When I met her on the vine
I thought to myself, that grape is fine
She filled out her curves, so voluptuous
Her deep purple skin was like velvet, so sumptuous
Day by day, that grape was my view
The sun beat down, my love only grew
I had to approach her! Decided to risk it
But—! A hand plucked me down! Into a basket!
. . .
And here is a link to The best thing ever made about wine
I come from a wine family. My grandpa made red wine in his basement. My uncles make homemade grappa (if you haven’t guessed yet, yes, we’re Italian). And a couple months ago, I, Johnny DiNapoli, watched Sideways (2004) for the first time.
Someone once told me if you want to appear that you know about wine without actually knowing anything about wine, all you have to do is take loud, obnoxious sips and swirl the wine aggressively around the glass and then describe it with two adjectives and one verb.
Example: *loud sip* “It’s earthy…” *louder sip* “..and dark…” *slurp* “….and it dances.”
congrats now you’re a somaleeay (sp?)
Thankfully, being a cartoonist means being great with a pen and paper, and even better with photoshop.
When you are experiencing cartoonist block, try making an idiom literal. For real, do it right now: think of a strange and vivid saying, then rescue back to its terrestrial point of origin. Mazel tov, you’ve made a cartoon!
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