What wines pair with pandemic?

“Make up your mind to drink wine in quantity” — Kingsley Amis

Jeffrey Denny
3 min readApr 13, 2020


Jeffrey Denny

7:30 am: “Coffee and wine are both highly aromatic, and you might think mixing them sounds a bit odd,” advises. “But it actually makes a lot of sense to drink wine and coffee together, because they share a lot of flavor and characteristics.”

We recommend a dark, rich Cabernet or full bodied blend redolent of black cherries, currant, and fresh loam with a high alcohol content that leads to a warm smooth finish and not starting the day worried about your 401(k), job situation or algebra to home-school the kids.

8:30 am: An oaky Chardonnay with a buttery caramel nuttiness and notes of vanilla brings out the complex undertones of your usual bowl of Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries. Having more alcohol in the morning helps you start the day being more open, honest and communicative with your spouse about how you really feel about the marriage.

10:30 am: For a mid-morning coffee break between really great Zoom meetings with recruiters who say, sorry, tough market right now due to the economic collapse but we’ll keep your impressive resume on file, try the Nespresso Ristretto Intenso with a tumbler of Taylor Fladgate 20-Year Tawney Port.

The intense and syrupy coffee comes alive with the aged port’s figs and honey that’s balanced out with burnt caramel aged acidity and a rich (but not sweet) finish.

It’ll help you not care that recruiters always say you’re overqualified for jobs you applied for when you’ll take anything at this point — that’s why you applied for these jobs.

Your wine buzz will also help you send the recruiters an honest, helpful, follow-up feedback note urging them to stop raising then dashing people’s hopes when hope is all we have.

12:00 pm: It’s always noon somewhere; finally it’s noon here, LOL! To ease into the afternoon, a light, crisp Pinot Grigio with hints of pear, apple and nectarine complements the palate-pleasing umami of the microwaved instant ramen you made for family lunch again.

When they whine, you say, “So soooooorry kids. It’s what we have right now. And you know what? My generation graduated college during the Great Recession with major student loans and no jobs. We ate ramen every day for two years. And we liked it!”

1:30–6:00 pm: Aka, “When Time Stands Still,” survived only by napping off breakfast and lunch wines and then, waking at 3 p.m., switching to whatever’s left on the liquor cart.

You foggily worry about your alcohol consumption as your family asks, complains and then weeps about your daily stupor. You quote Frank Sinatra, slurring, “I feel bad for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” And, “Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy.”

But then your family looks at you like, “You’re no Sinatra,” and a quiet voice deep within you says, “Yeah, they’re probably right.”

6:30 pm: Dinner time! Time to select the perfect wine to brighten whatever spouse is preparing with stewing resentment and boiling temper while eyeing the chef’s knife with a murder-y glint. Will it be Chef Boyardee Beefaroni? Hormel Chili with Beans? Or Dinty Moore beef stew again?

But since you’re still passed out in your “man cave,” they’re having dinner without you again.

When you wake up after everyone’s gone to bed and open a box of Cheez-Its for your supper, try the chilled Costco Kirkland Signature box wine. We’d go with the 2020 sauvignon blanc-flavored wine, which goes perfectly with the cheddar-y, salty, savory crackers and shame.

1:00 am: For a postprandial digestif, consider a snifter of the Rémy Martin Black Pearl Louis XIII cognac with its highly structured taste featuring flavors such as chocolate, spice, leather, oak, and creamy honey. Your father in law gave it to you on your wedding day under stern guidance to open only on very special occasions, since it costs up to $55,000 a bottle.

But what’s not special about an endless pandemic quarantine? Besides, the nightcap will help you sleep fitfully yet pleased you don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.



Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.