Part of my drinking was so much about trying not to feel things, to not feel how I actually felt, and the terrible thing about being so hidden is if people tell you they love you… it kinda doesn’t sink in. You always think, if you’re hiding things, How could you know who I am? You don’t know who I am, so how could you love me? Saying who I am, and trying to be as candid as possible as part of practicing the principles, has permitted me to actually connect with people for the first time in my life.

Waiting for Pappy: one man’s search of Nashville for America’s hottest bourbon | Nashville City Paper

This is partly our fault. We, the bourbon drinking collective, have been doing it for years now — haughtily referencing some tiny boutique bourbon we’ve recently tried. They snobbed up the beer and we said nothing. They snobbed up pub food and we said nothing. This was inevitable, and we ushered it in.

10 years ago: “Oh you like Jim Beam? You should try Maker’s Mark.”

Five years ago: “Maker’s, huh? Check out Bulleit next time.”

Two years ago: “Bulleit’s a solid starter bourbon, but next time try for a Jefferson’s Reserve. I had it at a tasting recently. You’ll hear about it soon.”

And so on. Before I knew the impact of my own pretentiousness, I’d contributed to the mania.

Waiting for Pappy: one man’s search of Nashville for America’s hottest bourbon | Nashville City Paper

Wine descriptors tell us more about a bottle’s price than its flavor. – By Coco Krumme – Slate Magazine

“Graphite. Black currant. Incense. And camphor?” This is a great read. You’ve probably read something similar about wine bullshit before, but this is probably better. Interesting that more expensive wines are described with more specific words.

When it comes to invoking elegance, foreign and complex words have a natural advantage. Cigars and truffle conjure up prestige and luxury. Meanwhile, a little-known berry or spice conveys the worldly sophistication of the critic, which the drinker can share. For a price.

Wine descriptors tell us more about a bottle’s price than its flavor. – By Coco Krumme – Slate Magazine

The drunk’s club: A.A., the cult that cures – By Clancy W. Martin (Harper’s Magazine)

An alcoholic writes about AA and recovery. This is a fantastic essay. [$]

My own view-in-progress is that there is no such thing as alcoholism as a disease or an allergy or a condition, but that alcohol is a very effective and potentially addictive medication for a whole host of psychological and neurobiological problems. […]The problem with alcohol is not so much that it is an addictive medication; rather, it’s that, unlike other addictive medications–to which people will also grow or not grow addicted at varying speeds and in unpredictable ways–alcohol’s social function and accessibility obfuscate this reality. If you’re prone to overdoing it, the fact that you’re self-prescribing (and choosing your own dosage) doesn’t help.

And:

Like most alcoholics I prefer to be the center of attention. That’s one of the reasons drinking was fun. You’re the hero of every story.

And also:

When you keep hearing “Relapse is part of recovery, relapse is part of recovery” each night from a different person, sometimes two or three, and then you leave the meeting and see the neon beer signs of the bar on the other side of Main, well, those lights get a little sparklier. Elbows on the bar, squeezed in, the bartender smiles; that smell of the bar, the smell of self-acceptance, joy, and fellowship.

Help is out there, folks.

The drunk’s club: A.A., the cult that cures – By Clancy W. Martin (Harper’s Magazine)

When you think about it, rules for drinking are not so different from rules for writing. Many of these are so familiar they’ve become truisms: Write what you know. Write every day. Never use a strange, fancy word when a simple one will do. Always finish the day’s writing when you could still do more. With a little adaptation these rules apply just as well for drinking. Drink what you know, drink regularly rather than in binges, avoid needlessly exotic booze, and leave the table while you can still stand.

Geoff Nicholson, “Drink What You Know” (via austinkleon)

For Movie Watching, Pairing a DVD and a Drink Takes Care – NYTimes.com

I’ve been matching my drinks to my movies for at least 15 years. I’ve done it with my wife, in groups, or (and I’m not ashamed to say this) alone. It adds a new dimension — Alc-O-Vision? — to the plot, the photography and, especially, the sense of immersion if the film takes place in the same country from which the drink in my hand originated.

Yes and yes. The article also includes a shout-out to Out of the Past, which I rewatched the other night, and which might be my favorite movie of all time. OF ALL TIME!

For Movie Watching, Pairing a DVD and a Drink Takes Care – NYTimes.com

The Cocktail Renaissance

You should be able to anticipate your first drink after the day’s work and use it to refresh your spirit and relax your mind. It should awaken senses dulled at the office and by the speed and distances of contemporary life. It should move you from the determined needs of a workday to a thoughtful consideration of the better and more charming aspects of living and talking and reading. Anticipation should not be underrated as an aspect of any aesthetic experience.

And also: “Drinks that don’t taste of alcohol were developed for coeds and the saps who try to get them drunk.”

The Cocktail Renaissance