Drink Up, It’s Lunch Time

This week is my favorite week of the year. It’s a rare excuse to get drunk during working hours. It’s also a rare excuse to pretend you know something about wine, and using that as an excuse to drink more than your fair share of wine. It is National Wine Week, where for $10, you get a bottomless glass of wine with your meal at the Smith & Wollensky family of restaurants.

This is a great opportunity for media sales reps to schedule “business lunches” that involve no business at all and run about four hours. When you return to the office, you face mounds of work on your desk, none of which you’re in any state of sobriety to do.

Fresh out of college and four weeks into my first job, I had my first wine week lunch with my supervisor and a sales rep from Fortune at Park Avenue Cafe. We drank wine until 3:30 and stumbled back to the office. At about 4:00, our group director called us into her office to work on a project. We take two steps into the room before she catches a whiff of alcohol and snaps, “are you guys drunk?”

The simple answer is yes, we’re completely wasted. I could barely walk in a straight line to my cubicle. I was mistyping every other word in an e-mail to a co-worker earlier. I was entirely too loud on the phone. But I’m a deer in the headlights now. What do I say in this situation? Am I in trouble? Is my job in jeopardy?

My supervisor simply replies, “it’s Wine Week.”

“OH!” my director shouts back. “Why didn’t you tell me? I would’ve asked you to bring me back a doggy bag of wine!”

Another memorable Wine Week lunch involved a New York Times salesperson, several clients, and the largest hunk of pork you have ever seen:

Add about seven glasses of wine to this Crackling Pork Shank at Maloney & Porcelli, and you’re guaranteed an instant food coma.

Honestly, working in advertising is generally an accepted excuse for drinking on the job. But National Wine Week is the one week every year when we truly feel no shame. After all, why else would Wine Week coincide with Advertising Week?

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8 Comments

Filed under Food and Booze, Life at Work

8 responses to “Drink Up, It’s Lunch Time

  1. I’m doing this at S&W in Chicago with my mom later this week, yay!

    (insert Homer Simpson drool here)

  2. hahaha. My advertising ass is getting taken out for wine week every day this week. It’s a biannual tradition! *hic*

  3. Wait a minute, I work in publishing and advertising… Why the hell don’t I get to booze for a week straight!?

  4. Red

    I have no time to leave a comment, as I’m hurtling myself directly into S&W, and hoping this lovely, lovely tradition extends itself to Boston as well.

  5. “OH!” my director shouts back. “Why didn’t you tell me? I would’ve asked you to bring me back a doggy bag of wine!”

    hahaha@ doggy bag of wine. thats priceless.

  6. Karen ;- )

    Boooo to pork. I think I died a little inside just seeing that thing. No amount of wine could make me forget it.

  7. Marjorie

    I love Wine Week! Much more fun when your whole team goes.

  8. trevor

    Who the hell schedules wine week during the week of the quarter? As as salesman i do not even have enough time to eat lunch this week, let alone get drunk. This pisses me off. Why not next week? or during August? This is bullshit.

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