Halloween 10-28-2015

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, ideal dramatis personae for annual Halloween column, and an opening into discussion of what happens when we enjoy more alcohol than prescribed by “drink responsibly.”
Researchers at Department of Psychological Sciences at University of Missouri-Columbia published a paper characterizing “four types of drunks.” Where do you fall, presuming you have ever been drunk?

The research clustered subjects into four descriptors: Hemingway, Mary Poppins, The Nutty Professor, and (shudder) Mr. Hyde.

Almost half of study group fell into Hemingway category: they changed the least from sober to drunk and experienced the fewest alcohol-related consequences. They lost some intellectual skills and loosened up a bit when drunk, but their personalities were pretty much the same drunk or sober. They still should not drive, of course.

Mary Poppins was smallest group. Poppins tend to be sweet and responsible when sober and sweeter, responsible, and even more emotionally stable when drunk.

Nutty Professor group tended to be introverted when sober, but inebriation flips their extrovert switch. This is the shy girl who becomes an shameless karaoke star after enough sips.

Then cometh Mr. Hyde, less likely than Hemingway, more likely than Poppins or Professor, and—as you may guess—trouble. Hydes were significantly less responsible, less intellectual, and more hostile when under the influence of alcohol. Hydes get angry, violent, careless, and irresponsible. Mean drunks, crying drunks, belligerent drunks, reckless drunks fall into this category. If this is you, please avoid inebriation.

Other studies show wine drinkers have least problems with alcohol—spirits drinkers the most—but moderation and responsibility apply to everyone. And don’t drink and drive no matter what.

Halloween-themed tasting notes:

• Alexander Valley Wines: Temptation Zin (plush cherries), Sin Zin (raspberry, pepper), Redemption Zin (lush, blackberries, plum).

• Chateau Chateau Skulls Red Blend 2012: Intriguing label (skull formed by less threatening natural images), nice wine. $19

• Michael David Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. Loaded with juicy Lodi fruit and rich flavor; over-the-top label. $19

• Saved Red Wine 2012: Very tasty; folks who enjoy plush, fruit-forward, ziny California flavor parades will drink this up; tattoo-inspired label. $22

Last round: To me, “drink responsibly” means you drink at home and do not spill the wine.