By Jackie Leavitt
White wine will always remind me of Boston. Not the usual association, I know, but when I lived there in 2010, that’s when I actually started to drink it. Years before, I had begun enjoying wine on the darker side of the spectrum, with Cabernet — really the only wine type I knew in the beginning of college in New Hampshire besides Merlot, which I hated. But in Boston, that summer changed me.
The heat was nothing unusual for July and August, just its ordinary, oppressive, 95-degree humidity. It was the type that was half wanted, allowing you to seek solace in sundresses, shorts and the tiniest tank tops you could find.
I rented a spot for the summer in Central Square, Cambridge, on the top floor of a three-storied building. I lived with two other early-twenty-something women, who functioned in the same mindframe as I did, that we didn’t need air conditioning, which was a luxury. No, we did not…
So instead, as the humidity sank its teeth in, we rolled ice cubes over our arms and necks. We stuck wet towels and scarves into the freezer, then wrapped ourselves up like chilled burritos. We tried eating frozen grapes as snacks, but the consistency was too strange for me. And then, one day, I realized it was just too damn hot for my room-temperature red wine I planned to drink with dinner.
White wine — specifically Two-Buck-Chuck, since I needed to survive my post-college, unpaid journalism internship — became my frosty elixir. It was the refreshment that could make any day complete. And it’s my go-to whenever I need a cooling and relaxing beverage.
Now, sitting in the Caribbean beach town of Cabarete, 1,500 miles south, the heat is nothing like Boston. It’s also, to be fair, March and not July. But the white wine I drink, even though it’s not Two-Buck-Chuck, well, it still reminds me of home.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Boston.