So, those of you who know me may be aware of my general distaste for Chardonnay. To be honest, it has very little to do with the flavor and more to do with rebellion against family conventions. Unfortunately, this has led me to a love of rose wine, which is not exactly the classiest thing ever, though I like basically all wines, white and red and everything in between—anything but chardonnay. I just happen to be one of those people who orders White Zinfandel in earnest. This is why I am allowed to say what I’m about to—it’s the equivalent of making a self-aware blonde joke.
So anyway, today I was at a bridal shower in DC, and one of the only (alcoholic) beverages available was white wine—chardonnay, in particular. So I said to myself, “When in Rome…”
And yeah, talk about Rome. I had always read about tea sandwiches and stuff (finger sandwiches to some), but I had never before witnessed for myself the shear oddity that is a plate of microscopic cream-cheese-on-date-nut-bread sandwiches. Or the cucumber-and-mayo. I did not venture near the egg salad ones. There was also a large bowl of what looked like chicken salad in addition to white, fluffy crescent rolls (Pillsbury?). Fortunately, there was also a fruit salad and a spinach-and-strawberry salad. There were also some spanikopita appetizer things (thank god).
While I don’t technically consider myself a vegetarian, I was really not into the chicken salad, and the white rolls were just not my thing (they were cold, first off). As I filled my plate with green stuff and fruit, I found myself mentally planning a dinner party in which there would be no “housewife food.” I’m talking, like, roasted garlic and a beautiful fruit-and-cheese plate, and roasted vegetables, etc. etc. etc. And that’s just for the appetizers.
Read Laura Shapiro’s Something From the Oven : Reinventing Dinner in the 1950’s if you want a more in-depth description of what I mean by “housewife food.” It’s mostly the mayonnaise and the tea sandwiches I am referring to, but in general, the whole “sweet and light” thing, really. There was this whole category of cuisine that fell under the “women’s food” umbrella, and basically all of it was disgusting, most of it involving mayo, marshmallows, or both.
I’m sorry, but a New York gal such as myself really has no idea what to do when confronted with that stuff. So what do we do?
This is where the wine comes in, chardonnay though it may be…