Once again I've been neglecting this humble blog, for a variety of reasons, and I fear such behavior will be more frequent. But I'll do what I can, and so far the blogosphere has survived the lessening of my contribution.
As I looked at the comments for the beer post (thanks) I realized that this is another area I neglect. I enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage - usually a Guinness or similar, although I have developed a taste for Boulevard wheat beer - but I don't drink nearly enough of anything to have more than a basic opinion. My fruit juices tend to be unfermented, and I'm fairly likely to have a glass of water with a restaurant meal. Part of this is plain cheapness,especially at restaurants; I can't justify the price of wine for something that for me is to wash down food. But there is a gift bottle of wine in my refrigerator that has been there for three years unopened, and a bottle of Grain Belt beer (also a gift, from a former co-worker with whom I used to talk about the beers of our youth) that will be a year old soon. I simply don't think about them at times at which drinking them would be appropriate.
There is another factor here. The wine I grew up around was what Peter Egan called "vintages of sacramental sweetness" - Mogen David being the prime example - and so-called "pop wines" such as TJ Swan's and Boone's Farm, usually consumed surreptitiously at parties by under aged drinkers. Perhaps if I were to learn enough to make a good choice I might be more inclined to purchase it.
My Dad has always been a beer drinker, but at the last family gathering he also had a selection of wines that I don't recall seeing growing up. This may be the money factor again; he can afford things now that he couldn't with four kids to feed. Maybe I'll be able to do the same thing once the kids are off the payroll, although I think I'll still prefer a good dark beer.