Job drinking for sanity’s sake

Wine Press NorthwestMarch 7, 2013 

Drinking on the job… who doesn’t (in this audience)? But for those of us unlucky enough to work in corporate America where grapes aren’t grown and barrels aren’t wracked, sampling the goods is, well… frowned upon. Still, there are a hundred thousand reasons why it makes sense to drink on the job, maintaining sanity, being the number one! Here are a few others…

Getting a new boss can be exciting; however, this excitement can be short-lived when you find out how arrogant he really is. This guy needs to always be right, is a pig-headed know-it-all and has a short-man’s complex to boot. Fantastic. Besides a rat poison latte, what pairs best with that mess of irritation? Roll in Bill, 2009, Walla Faces, Syrah. Bill reverberates red and black juiciness with a straight shooter approach. Marble-round in its texture, it’s not tight, not loose, just relaxed in its complexity. This wine wastes no time with nonsense, but rather eats arrogance for lunch and washes it down with a glass full of man crush, shaken not stirred.

Now everyone likes working with smart people, but unfortunately, most people aren’t scale (what!). Unintelligent coworkers give you plenty of reasons to drink, despite even the best effort to take the high road. When that road is occupied, and there’s no rising above it, transcend with a glass of Elevation, 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon. Blackberry and dark red fruit roll up in an aura of cocoa powder. This wine has an irascible disposition, always on the edge of telling people what it really thinks. You’re not the brightest bulb on the tree; not the sharpest tool in the shed. It’s refined its diplomacy over the years, and has a fine get-to-the point finish. Lengthy, inquisitive and aggravated.

Speaking of aggravating, the dumb girl wielding power like a sword is only because she’s sleeping with her boss. Now that’s aggravating. Step in Sophie de Rollat, Chateau Rollat, 2008, Bordeaux Blend to right the world on its axis. This chic is smooth and convincing. She wraps that boss around her very shiny, red claws, chews him up and spits him out. Red currant and cherry throw out a light stream of consciousness, with a firm horizontal finish. With champagne tastes on a beer budget, this seems to bother every one but her.

Maybe it’s a metaphor, but when you shoot the guy who was going to shoot the guy you’re dying to see dead, all bets are off. Confrontational co-workers can be a barrel of fun or a pain in the bunghole – just depends whether your glass is half full or half empty (pause here, pour some more). Barons, 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and elegant, tangled up in black cherry and black currant, which wrestles gracefully with straps of smoke and leather. This dark red juice knows the rules and the ones it needs to break to get where it’s going; the first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.

In a conference room full of crazy, it just takes a little lesson from Edouard de Rollat, Chateau Rollat, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, to turn the tables. Killing with kindness is a strategy I’m not particularly fond of, perhaps because I’m not particularly good at it. This wine matches pretense with affection and nails it every time. It’s a blend of heavy breathing and reckless conversation, with a whirling dervish of black plum and blackberry. Its heady charm and dark awakening, melts any opposition into a pool of relinquish.

I usually like to wait ‘til the suns up, but in this part of the world, that could mean noon. Some people need a pick me up as soon as they arrive to work and step out of the elevator. A quad, venti mocha can suffice, but my God! Who needs the empty calories! Instead, take it down a notch with a lovely blonde glass called Imperium. Trust me; you’ll just want to lick it. Imperium, Elevation Cellars, 2011 Riesling is the prettiest burst of tropical goodness and effervescence. Pineapple, banana and white nectarine whisk you off to the island where you turn into a noodle with a big smile on your face. Your boss should be paying you to drink this, because no cup of coffee can do what this does. Your stress drops you’re suddenly in a very good mood. Ear to ear smile before 9am? Who complains about that!

The official office complainer, that’s who! Nothing shuts this one up. The office is too hot, too cold, too dark, too bright, too loud, etc… Did he not have a father who threatened daily to ‘give him something to cry about?’ Seriously.

For your sanity, pour a glass of Matthew, Walla Faces, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and transport to a new game of fun. Matthew is all-tall with luscious dark fruit that and bowling richness. Its clever wit beckons you to sip again, but alas, there’s much work to do. I spy a Tupperware with a sandwich and a Kit Kat. At lunchtime, Joe Complainer opens the box to find a pickle. He screams stealing, but in truth, he ‘deserved a break today’ (recall old Kit Kat tagline). He claims he’s been violated, which leaves a real pickle for HR.

On that note, a few tips when drinking in the office: use breath mints and hand sanitizer and keep bathroom runs to a minimum. Be an adult, and don’t call in sick due to a hangover. Cheers!

With sass and attitude, Teri Citterman is a Seattle dweller and an eager wine enthusiast. She is the author of the latest edition of Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest and the Northwest Wine Journal. She writes An Urban Sip Wine Blog at

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