How to Pair Wine With Ass

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Art: Jack Koloskus
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I first started thinking of analingus as a gastronomic concern while looking up the diseases you can contract from eating ass. After landing on a r/AskMen thread called “I feel a bit sick after eating the booty this morning,” I consulted my roommate, a gay male medical researcher, who responded with a list of potential ailments ranging from the rank and file oral-to-anal and anal-to-oral STIs to parasites and bacterial infections: “I’ve heard of people getting giardia, hepatitis A, E.coli, staph, salmonella. Or it could just be a bit of overgrowth from a bolus of butt bacteria.”

A few years ago, the concept of ass-eating reached an apex of cultural acknowledgement, if not acceptance, in heterosexual communities, as both a potentially subversive sex act and an increasingly grating online meme. But I suspect the possibility of interacting with fecal matter will probably always keep it somewhat taboo. For the uninitiated, it’s easy to be disturbed by the enhanced threats of butt stuff when we spend so much of our lives carefully avoiding contact with shit — with good reason. But for the most part, our fears of ass poisoning are overblown.

“It's a relatively safe thing to do,” said Dr. Stephen Goldstone, an Assistant Clinical Professor in Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and author of "The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex: A Medical Handbook for Men" (1999) when I spoke with him over the phone.

“If someone's got shigella or salmonella or something like that and they're having tons of diarrhea, no one's going to be down there anyway. You know what I mean? You're not gonna want them down there and they're not going to go down there.”

Hypochondriac reflections assessed, another obvious deterrent is: what about the taste of ass? “This tastes like shit” is one of the most straightforward insults you can hurl at a comestible — suddenly we’re faced with the real thing.

This is not to yuck anyone’s yum. As a professional drinks person, I immediately tackle this quandary with the same objective rigor I practice every time I help someone with a dinner pairing or party planning. How do you make the most of the experience?

If only for the long-standing romantic connotations, wine would be the obvious choice. I estimate that more than half of all fermented grape juice is purchased with aphrodisiac intentions. Wine is the seducer’s beverage, and you’d be remiss not to give your selection more consideration the next time a flavorful sexual encounter is on the horizon.

The principles of wine pairing are a little more free and easy than anti-snob sentiment would have you think. Rarely is there a catch-all solution for any one scenario, and your pleasure depends heavily on experience and preferences. But one thing you should typically seek is contrast. This is the rule that informs traditional pairings like sparkling white with crunchy fried food or something aromatic and sweet to soothe a palate inflamed with spice. On the other hand, some foods need to be matched in their intensity.

Ass is not completely unheard of in the range of tastes a true gourmet might encounter. I’m reminded of the flavors of hunting season in France: gamey wild boar, hare, deer, and offal, particularly andouillette, a tripe and intestine sausage as infamous for its distinctive scent of shit and piss as it is appreciated. I knew a guy who would order and enjoy it with Gallic pride.

Plenty of wines fit the bill for such a fragrance, but to stick with French terroir, I would think of matching ass with a Northern Rhone syrah, which, although austere in its youth, can develop to reveal MSG-rich meaty notes.

Romancing on a budget? Look to the Southwest, where the hinterlands of Bordeaux reveal a smattering of less famous appellations producing intense, full-bodied wines from indigenous grapes like tannat in Madiran, and fer servadou in Marcillac. Or else, inquire at your local retailer for something “bretty” — brett being short for brettanomyces, a yeast that infects wines, beers and ciders with a flavor profile affectionately known as “barnyard.”

If white wine is more your thing, an intensely minerally bottle like a bone-dry riesling from Australia, with its notes of diesel, or a tangy skin-contact selection could dutifully fit the bill — just don’t serve either too cold.

Not every booty is predictably rank. For veteran ass-eaters, mustiness is an exception. Many people I spoke with prefer tossing salad in the shower to minimize such an impact. In that case, I would just go with something canned so you don’t have to worry about a vessel that will shatter into a million pieces around your wet naked body purely for the sake of preserving aroma. Even an unremarkable sparkling rosé can provide decent and substantial palate cleansing and refreshment.

And please note, this is not an endorsement for butt chugging, the practice of anally introducing alcohol into your body, which Dr. Goldstone warns can “burn your colon lining.”

The doctor’s last bit of advice: “don't put wine bottles up your ass, we've seen corks up there, exploded broken glass, all kinds of things.”