A Peek at the Drinking Habits of My Oregon Neighbors
The “Daily Constitutional” appears to be seeing a renaissance in the midst of our quarantined life. Here in our little neighborhood in Salem, Oregon, it’s not uncommon these days to see numerous families out taking their daily walk, usually in the late afternoon.
I enjoy the daily walk myself. But perhaps my favorite thing about getting out and taking a stroll is what I learn about my neighbors’ drinking habits.
Friday morning is garbage day. So, each Thursday we diligently put out garbage cans on the curb for the Friday morning pick up. However, every other Friday it’s the recycling pick up and here in this neck of the woods they implore us to put our glass in a smaller, low profile blue plastic bin that happens to be very easy to look into if you happen to be walking by.
Kathy, Henry and I are often happening to be walking by on Thursday. Boy…does our neighborhood like their wine.
Of course, some homes appear to like their wine more than others. Some, we have found have a profound fondness for vodka…moreover, they don’t appear to have loyalty to any one specific brand of vodka
But most of all, it’s about the wine. Knowing that we live in Oregon, you won’t be surprised to learn that my neighbors appreciate the likes of King Estate, A-Z Wineworks, Willamette Valley Vineyards and many of the other larger, better distributed and less expensive wines. I witnessed one neighbor who had such an affinity for Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir I started to wonder if I live in the same neighborhood as Jim Bernau.
Then there is the house that is clearly a fan of cheap Bordeaux. The $10 cheap Bordeaux bottles nearly overspilled the bin.
But my favorite discovery was the house where it was, again, an obvious affinity for wine (to the tune of at least one bottle per day). However, in this house they drank promiscuously from all over the wine map. I saw French, German, Californian, Oregonian and even a bottle of Port. It was impressive. I didn’t know the folks in this house, but I wanted to know them.
It’s probably a bit intrusive of me to purposefully observe the drinking habits of my neighbors. But it’s not like I’m dumpster diving. The little blue bins are without tops and really begging for me to take a gander. And it’s not like the neighbors didn’t know their bottles would go unobserved.
But would I care if folks were looking into my home’s drinking habits? When I took a close look last Thursday evening into my own blue bin it was confirmation of what I already knew: We just aren’t taking advantage of the Oregon Stay At Home order to drink more. It’s really kind of pathetic. In our own little blue bin for glass, I found an empty bottle Dehlinger Pinot, a pear cider empty (thank you! EZ Orchards), A couple of beer bottles and an odd Chardonnay and Cabernet empty. As I said, unimpressive. I’m working on it.