No food, no water, only rosé for 18 hours
Credit: Photo by Peter Shea

I half-expected this story to be published posthumously under my name, but I made it. Boy, what a fun day. When my editor first approached me with the idea—to drink rosé all day, like the popular phrase “rosé all day,” only literally all day and without food and water—I immediately said yes. What I didn’t know then was the battering my body would endure from sucking down five bottles of the stuff for about 18 hours straight.

With a clear head no longer punished by the icy hands of alcohol and a taste in my mouth that’s finally reverted to regular vomit from flowery vomit, I can now accurately write about the experience that led me to reevaluate what I will and won’t do for money. Kids, don’t try this at home—unless a website offers you money.

My story starts two days before the experiment, when five bottles of rosé show up at my doorstep in an oversized box. The bottles come courtesy of a PR guy who actually believed me when I said I needed five free bottles of wine to “take part in a project” for Extra Crispy. You’ve got to hand it to PR guys; they always have your back, even when it sounds like you’re a lying alcoholic. The five bottles I end up with are Isabel Mondavi Rosé 2017, Les Dauphins Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé 2017, Anna de Codorniu Brut Rosé, Raimat Rosada Rosé, and Tenuta Ammiraglia Alìe Rosé 2016. I immediately feel like the older brother Frasier Crane never had.

Friday, 8:00 A.M.
Despite the unseasonably warm weather earlier in the week, I make the conscious decision to start this experiment on the very morning New York was pounded by a nor’easter. The parallels between the storm outside and the inevitable storm inside my body were too great to pass up. It’s a magical thing when the heavens mirror the discomfort of some random writer in Brooklyn. Thanks, Water God!

Credit: Photo by Peter Shea

Friday, 8:19 A.M.
I open up my bottle of Les Dauphins Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé 2017 and pour myself a larger-than-normal glass. Aside from the nagging feeling that I’m being bad drinking so early, I find it pleasant to be working on a buzz against the backdrop of a pretty major storm. I probably would have written a poem about it if I had even a drop of talent.

Friday, 8:34 A.M.
Fully buzzed, I start planning my morning and working out exactly how I can finish so many bottles of rosé in so few hours without the aid of food, water, or sleep. My wife keeps telling me this is a funny idea for a story, though I suspect she’s just buttering me in hopes of getting free rosé. Little does she know, I plan on sharing my bounty with her because we have a healthy marriage and I love her.

Friday, 9:30 A.M.
For the first time in my life, I have a drink in the shower. Not to beat a dead horse with Frasier allusions, but beverages have no place in the bathroom. Regardless, the cold drink paired with the piping-hot water on my back is just wonderful. I make sure to note that this is probably the best I’ll feel all day—little do I know, I’m right on the money!

Credit: Photo by Peter Shea

Friday, 10:38 A.M.
I venture outside into the increasingly violent storm and go sans-umbrella in order to match my insides with the out. Before I leave, I dump the rest of my bottle into my Camelbak to ensure I can take my drink on the road—or, most specifically—in the train. Next time I do an experiment involving drinking on the go, I’ll keep in mind that bubbly liquids don’t do the best in small bottles. But hey, tell that to my rosé-soaked pants.

Friday, 11:00 A.M.
I’m no stranger to drinking on the train, but drinking rosé on the train is a first for me. I don’t know what it is about downing such a luxurious drink in public, but I feel fancy, like Little Lord Fauntleroy in a wet peacoat. I have no concrete plans on where to go, so I head north to Park Slope and decide to mill around with my mobile rosé.

Friday, 11:12 A.M.
For 40 minutes I am stuck underground due to a stray branch that has apparently fallen on the track. By this time, I’m very drunk. I know this because the long delay doesn’t bother me. In fact, I’m happy to have some peace and quiet. I put on a podcast, lay back, and relax. A half hour into the delay, I realize my bladder has its own plans. I am a water balloon full of piss. As I launch into a drunk panic, the train mercifully starts to move.

Credit: Photo by Peter Shea

Friday, 11:14 A.M.
I don’t think I’ve ever power-walked faster than when I stepped into that Starbucks on 7th Ave.

Friday, 12:42 A.M.
After an hour of walking in the rain, I start to feel my first hunger pang. The rules of the game are no food or water. I debate sending a pleading email to my editor, but stop when I see a soaked box of free books on the side of the road. I pick up Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking and put my phone away. When you drink before noon, good things happen!

Friday, 1:05 P.M.
I stop drinking for a little while. I decide that I should stick to one bottle every four hours in order to sustain myself until nighttime. I end up walking home in hopes I can sweat out the bottle of booze I just drank.

Friday, 1:40 P.M.
I jot down a note in my damp notebook to remind myself that this is when my “second wind” struck. I’d like to believe the driving rain of this early March nor’easter cleared my head, but I think I’m just excited about the four bottles of rosé I’m about to enjoy.

Credit: Photo by Peter Shea

Friday, 2:23 P.M.
I’m back at home. The second bottle is open and it’s not even five o’clock anywhere. This is when things start to get hazy. I put on Drive and drink straight from the bottle in a move I’m pretty sure I thought was supposed to impress Ryan Gosling. Hey, I think it worked!

Friday, 3:15 P.M.
I’m at the part in Drive where Oscar Isaac finally shows up. Maybe I’m trying to impress the wrong guys here… heck, maybe neither of these actors don’t even know I’m drinking rosé straight from the bottle to impress them through my television.

Friday, 4:40 P.M.
My wife texts me to let me know she’s on her way home. I text her back something along the lines of being pickled. She asks me if I want to go over a friend’s house tonight for band practice. I tell her I don’t remember starting a band. She tells me we didn’t, it just happened. I agree. It’s around this time that my hunger strikes hard. I go through my cabinets for probably the 12th time and sigh deeply at the packaged goods staring back at me. I pour myself the rest of the bottle.

Friday, 5:50 P.M.
Apparently I’m in a bluegrass ‘80s cover band called “Cootie Patrol.” My friend tells me that I can either play the xylophone or guitar. I choose the ‘phone. We sing until our mouths bleed (figuratively) and nail down some pretty OK covers of “Come On Eileen,” “Uptown Girl,” and “Ashes to Ashes.” They order Chinese food that I can’t eat and I silently curse their souls to hell.

Friday, 6:22 P.M.
I’m the drunkest I’ve been in a long, long time. I find out the hard way that substituting fruity alcohol for water is no way to live. I am barely conscious and so thirsty. I consider quitting the band.

Friday, 7:00 P.M.
I tell the rest of the band that I’m back in and committed to making good music again. My friend opens the Tenuta Ammiraglia Alìe Rosé 2016 and gives me a salsa jar to drink it out of. We’re all drinking rosé at this point. I know my wife is drunk because she orders an accordion off Amazon.

Credit: Photo by Peter Shea

Friday, 8:20 P.M.
We’ve gone from ‘80s cover band to Bachelor focus group. No one in this rooms like Arie. I think he has a liar’s face with poisonous eyes. I have 12 hours left to go, but my heart of hearts knows I won’t be able to make it that long. The Chinese food is singing to me in Chinese and baby, I’m hearing it.

Friday, 9:30 P.M.
I put my phone into an empty salsa jar to amplify the speakers and we all start singing along to David Bowie. My friend, Peter, gives me a kimono to wear. Four (maybe?) bottles down!

Friday, 10:10 P.M.
My wife and I walk home. The rain has subsided, but there’s a new storm brewing in my head. That is to say I have a headache.

Friday, 11:20 P.M.
Unsure what to do for another 12 hours, I put Drive back on. I’m starting to feel hungover, so I do what most millennials are doing this day and open a bottle of booze to fight off the impending harshness.

Saturday, 12:30 A.M.
Drive is over, but my hangover/undying drunkness is in full force. Deep down I know I won’t be able to last another eight hours. I silently resign to call it at 18 hours, but promise myself I’ll administer 100 lashings the next day to qualm the shame.

Credit: Photo by Peter Shea

Saturday, 1:00 A.M.
Flipping through the channels, I find a tried-and-true favorite on TV: Fixer Upper. I focus on Chip and Joanna’s complicated relationship instead of the rising nausea. It works, but I get too worked up about Chip’s hair.

Saturday, 1:59-ish A.M.
I drink the most water I ever drank in my entire damn life. Nanoseconds after, I inhale the leftover Chinese food and almost cry. I stay up drinking as much water as I can for the next few minutes and get ready for bed knowing I’m about to nurse the worst hangover I’ve ever had.

A hangover that comes after 18 hours of drinking is the kind of hangover that reminds you that humans aren’t supposed to drink for 18 hours. I barely get out of bed the entire day. I only throw up once. I start to feel better around eight p.m., 24 hours after this cockamamy experiment began.

When I think about lessons learned or the deeper meaning behind this all… I come up with nothing. I know then what I knew back then: When you’re the kind of guy who’ll do anything for some money and a laugh, things are bound to get weird. All I can say to anyone thinking about trying this for themselves: Don’t do it. Or do it, I don’t care, I’m going back to bed.