Was walking the senior canine in a weedy path off the main road and came across this:
A fine Chablis, looks like, from Chateau Diana. And yet I can't find this particular bottle on their Web site.
1) Apparently Chateau Diana makes "wine products," some sort of Boone's Farm-like adulteration, and this might be one of them. I declined a closer look to read the label. The dog got a good whiff, but that didn't help. He has no taste at all. I wonder if they just put the show wines on the Web site and the cheap party crap in the stores.
2) Of course, the cheap stuff that still has some respectability (that is, not Four Roses or Thunderbird or other brands lovingly reviewed on BumWine) comes in larger jugs, and even in boxes---but neither jugs nor boxes are appropriate for impromptu outdoor underage drinking or random boozing. Ironic, isn't it? But true; you ever try to suck wine out of one of those boxes? Tricky.
3) I was impressed that whoever was enjoying this bottle couldn't finish it. This shows admirable restraint. I spotted no puddle of vomit or body-shaped mound to indicate that the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. Assuming that the enjoyment was continuing, and had not come to a calamitous sickening end, why leave the bottle there? Couldn't find the cap to screw back on?
4) "Aha," you say, "maybe the bibber was buzzed by the hooters and fled sans wine." Well, in my experience, when the cops roust you they destroy the booze you leave behind, they don't just leave it on the sidewalk for the next dipsomaniac to come along. No, some jolly drinker left this here, showing poor potential as a Future Wino of America. Where will our winos of tomorrow come from?
5) It is interesting that "wino" is one of the more well-known American terms for a flat-out tragic alcoholic bum. I say that because our wine culture is a lot more highbrow and froufrou than that in other nations, where they have wine faucets in the bathroom sink. We kind of look up to wine. We think of real boozehounds as being beer-swilling case-a-day suds muffins or likker-licking 'shiners and whiskey-noodled Oirishmen of the lower echelons. So why is our word not beero or vodko? But no, wino is our word and has been since c. 1915.
6) This respect for wine sparks the kind of attitude that keeps wealthy alcoholics from getting help. As long as one can say, "Yes, I drink eight bottles of wine a day, but it's all quality stuff!" one can insist (at least to the mirror) that one doesn't have a problem with alcohol. Not like the Ripple-sodden hordes out there in the streets.
But I don't think this sad story of the wealthy souse fits the profile of our Chateau Diana abandoner. Frankly, I can't figure out what would cause the bottle to wind up where it was and when. If you're in the lower Hudson Valley and you're missing a bottle that fits this description, drop me a line. Perhaps we can piece together the solution to this mystery.