I just read an article in The Telegraph that I mistook for an article in The Onion, because The Telegraph doesn’t go out of its way to be facetious and The Onion goes so far out of its way to be facetious that reading it can be more painful than passing a gall stone. And often, just as funny.
Anyway, the Telegraph article is named ‘Forget Craft Beer, Men are Drinking Brosé This Summer’, and it’s based on the premise that rosé is a ‘deeply unfashionable and stereotypically feminine’ wine that has undergone some sort of recent, manly renaissance so that men are now drinking it instead of beer.
The piece refers to the new wave of macho pinks as ‘Brosé’.
That’s two-thousand-fifteen humor in a nutshell, Junior; clever à la mode—fusing the colloquial abbreviation for ‘brother’ with anything even vaguely girlish that masculine types are into. This is gaiety for a new millennium—when the word ‘gaiety’ probably no longer means what I intend it to mean—where ‘bromance’ means straight guys who dig each other and ‘broping’ is when the Cosa Nostra embrace has gone on for a nanosecond longer than strictly necessary.*
* Note that the cuteness of the ‘bro’ portmanteau is more important than whether or not the concept itself is something (like a lingering Mob hug) that anyone has previously considered worthy of a word—or, for that matter, considered at all.
The problem, of course, is that the ‘bro’-prefix-thing hardly ever works. The first syllable of the old effeminate word has to rhyme with ‘Bro’ and ‘Brosé’ is possible only because ‘Bro’ fits handily into the word ‘rosé’. I suspect that The Telegraph’s excruciating headline might be the story’s entire raison d’être, not any real evidence that more men are drinking rosé this summer than were drinking it last summer or the summer before that—it’s just that nobody thought of the joke before.
Dude Drinks Like a Lady
I submit that pink wine has always been a macho thing. Consider saignée, the method of concentrating the tannins and color in red wine by siphoning off a portion of wine in the early stages of maceration; the wine that is removed is pinkish and is often bottled and sold as rosé. Saignée is a French word meaning ‘bleed’, and other than that icky part of the feminine lifestyle that we Y chromosomians prefer to minimize or ignore, bleeding has traditionally been a male-dominated occupation. We bleed when we go to war, we bleed when we fall down on the soccer field, we bleed when we get beaten up in bars, we bleed when we bite our fingernails in the proctologist’s waiting room. Blood and testosterone have long been inseparable companions on the rugged road of Boy’s Life.
Take the very word ‘pink’.
Pink the Pop-Star is nominally a woman, but nigga, please—she’s butchier than Steve Tyler, whose song ‘Pink’ pretty much summarizes the masculine appeal of the whole whiter-shade-of-red concept.
And then there’s Pink Floyd; hardly a chick band, right?
Or take Brad Pitt, the beefcake star of such blockbuster Man Cave favorites as Fight Club, World War Z and Inglourious Basterds. He owns one winery that makes one wine. Guess what color it is?
And speaking of color, what color is Spam? Who but a card-carrying member of the male persuasion would consider eating a slice of that putrid pink pile of processed puke?
Lastly, what’s man-among-men Bruce Springsteen’s favorite shade of Cadillac? Or Elvis’s sport coat? And who described the great Gatsby like this: “An Oxford man! … Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit.”? Manly Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, that’s who.
I rest my case.
The article goes on to suggest that men are choosing rosé over beer, resisting the impulse to refer to ‘home brew’ as ‘home bro’, but doesn’t offer much in the way of examples. They quote a bartender who invents a fictitious table of seven ‘dudes’ who order a magnum of Bedell instead of scotch (also resisting the impulse to refer to it as a ‘phagnum’); they quote smokin’ hot Telegraph wine critic Victoria Moore who claims that the only decent rosé comes from Provence (Bedell is from Long Island) and they quote Details Magazine saying that ‘more male drinkers are pounding pink’—forgetting that Details Magazine is written for gay men trying and generally failing to butch up their image.
But articles like this one do make waves, and people read them, and readers attract advertisers and writers who write for publications with actual advertisers and real readers tend to get paid.
Which is why I have just submitted a freelance piece to The Telegraph, Details, The Onion, Jack and Jill, Popular Douchebaggery and Fellate Me Quarterly:
‘Forget Doc Martens, Real Men are Wearing ‘Brocs’ This Summer’.
Hmmm…as a se miotician (semiologist) of hipster bro-culture, you are something of a bromotician (bromiologist?) SALUD!
That kind of fluff article makes me see red.